John Lewis says it is working closely with shopping centre giants intu to "understand the implications" of it entering administration.

Intu announced earlier today that it has tumbled into administration after failed crunch talks with its lenders.

The shopping centre owner said it has applied to appoint administrators from KPMG, after warning that it was on the verge of collapse.

Read more - Shopping centre owner intu tumbles into administration

John Lewis, which has a store in intu Watford, had not confirmed when it would lift its shutters at the shopping centre.

But following today's news, the chain says it is "working closely" with intu and its administrators KPMG to figure out the next steps.

A spokesperson from John Lewis told the Watford Observer: "Following today’s announcement that intu has filed for bankruptcy, we are working closely with them and the administrators to understand the implications for the small number of shops we have within their shopping centres.  

"We have received assurances from the administrators that these centres will remain open while a buyer is found."

John Lewis says it is unable to comment further at this stage.

Last week Vicki Costello, general manager of intu Watford, suggested that staff at John Lewis in Watford are preparing for a reopening.

In a Facebook live with Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor, she said: "I know they’ve (John Lewis) been very firm in their phasing because they are huge stores and they’ve got a lot to do in their stores to get them safe and to enable the one-way systems and all the screens put up.

"But they are in there working. I spoke to the store manager yesterday. They are in there with contractors getting it ready. So as soon as I know, you guys will know."

Despite today's news that intu has entered administration, it said its shopping centres will continue to trade for the time being.

Intu had been in a desperate scramble to agree a "standstill" on its current loan agreements.

Earlier on Friday the group said it was likely to appoint administrators, as it remained unable to agree the terms of such a deal with its creditors.

In a statement, the group, which had until midnight on Friday to reach a deal, said "insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved".

Earlier this week, Intu said it put the administrators from KPMG on stand-by as it looked to secure a deal ahead of the midnight deadline on its current loan covenants.

The group has struggled under a £4.5 billion debt burden for the past year, but has been hammered by significantly lower rent payments from retail tenants since the coronavirus outbreak.