Retailers angry at facing estimated losses of at least £2m after a suspected chemical leak closed Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre are tabling claims against the scheme’s landlord.
The Bullring scheme – jointly owned by Hammerson, Land Securities and Henderson – had to close for more than 48 hours over the bank holiday weekend from Thursday afternoon until Saturday afternoon after the security scare.
GameStop UK managing director Kevin Neary said that the closure had “absolutely decimated sales”, estimating that he had lost 60 per cent of trade in the week.
Reiss chief executive David Reiss said: “I have never experienced anything like it.”
Another retail chief executive said the incident is likely to have cost the retailer “up to £20,000”, and criticised the handling of the situation. A Selfridges spokeswoman said:“Last weekend should have been fantastic so we were very disappointed.”
The incident, which is being investigated, meant 30 staff and shoppers needed medical attention.
Hammerson has not received any insurance claims from retailers yet, but said: “Should we receive a claim, we will deal with this in partnership with our insurers.”