Intu Derby's new owners defend 'Derbion' name switch

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image copyrightDerbion
image captionDerbion combines the centre's geographical location "and a sense of motion", its owners say

Owners of a city shopping centre have defended its new name following a lukewarm response from some residents.

Intu Derby is being renamed Derbion, which they say combines Derby with "a sense of motion".

Many people have mocked the rebranding online, though some have welcomed it as a positive move for the city centre.

The owners said the name was the result of "a six-month consultation" and reflected "our pride in a city that has much to offer".

Former owners Intu went into administration last year and the centre is now owned by Cale Street.

In a statement, centre manager Adam Tamsett said the consultation had seen them work "closely alongside key regional stakeholders and customers to choose our new identity".

"We wanted a name that was distinctive to Derby, reflecting our pride in a city that has so much to offer," he said.

'Lice shampoo'

However, the rebrand was greeted with bemusement by some on social media.

"What an absolutely ridiculous, awful name," wrote Charlotte Coe.

Tyrel Ashley Edwards said: "Reflects pride in the city? Try thinking of something that won't make it look a laughing stock."

Dan Beadell added: "Can't even pronounce it, never mind take pride in it."

Meanwhile, Maddy Ward wrote: "It sounds like a hair shampoo against head lice."

Others were more supportive of the change.

"It actually sounds a good name, but will take a while to get used to it," wrote Michael Pala.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionThe centre had a £340m refurbishment in 2007

Derby City Council leader Chris Poulter said he was "delighted" with the new name.

"Derbion is at the heart of Derby's retail experience and can be a symbol of the drive, determination and resilience of the people of Derby," he said.

Roger Moggs, a local marketing expert, said he was "nonplussed" when he first heard it but felt the word diluted the city's brand by reducing Derby to "Derb".

"A lot of people will think it's silly when they first hear it... but if it's around long enough, people will come to accept it," he said.

'Compelling and distinctive'

The centre was originally named The Eagle Centre and many still call it that.

It reopened as Westfield Derby in 2007 following a major refurbishment before being sold to Intu.

John Forkin from Marketing Derby, who was involved in the renaming process, said continuing to call the centre Intu Derby was not an option.

He said: "Intu went into administration so all 17 Intu shopping centres are going through changes at the moment.

"From a Marketing Derby perspective this is good news, because this is the first Intu of the 17 across the UK which has come out of the bloc with a new identity, with a new owner, Cale Street.

"It's a good message of confidence to broader investors."

New signage is due to be unveiled throughout the centre on 1 March, with exterior signs being put up in May.

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