Watford’s indoor shopping centre is facing a change of name after it was put under new management – and plenty of readers agree on what they think it should be called.

With intu Watford having been taken over by Global Mutual, it is likely that intu's orange branding and name will be disappearing from Watford with the existing name and branding only set to stay in place for an "interim period".

And following the news, most readers have said they want to see Watford’s indoor shopping centre changed back to the Harlequin.

This is how the shopping centre was originally known before being changed to intu Watford.

Here we take a look at how Watford’s shopping centre became the Harlequin and why it was changed several years ago.

How did Watford’s shopping centre become the Harlequin?

The name Harlequin was chosen for Watford’s shopping mall as a result of a local competition.

It is presumed to be a reference to a nearby railway line, known at the time as the ‘Harlequin Line’, which passed through Harlesden and Queen's Park.

The Harlequin, which was opened by Capital Shopping Centres, opened in phases between 1990 and 1992, before officially opening to the public in June 1992.

And as is proven today, the name Harlequin became a hit with people in the town. People today say they still refer to the centre as the Harlequin despite it being rebranded in 2013.

Why was the Harlequin changed to intu Watford?

Back in February 2013 it was announced that the name of Capital Shopping Centres Group PLC was changed to intu Properties plc.

As a result, it meant that Watford’s shopping centre was changed from the Harlequin to intu Watford, as we know it now.

When the Watford Observer first reported the news, a poll found that 95 per cent of people did not like the new intu Watford name and did not want the shopping mall to be rebranded.



But as part of a nation-wide rebranding exercise being taken, new orange intu signs were place across the shopping centre as well as the car parks.

The Harlequin name may have disappeared but many shoppers remained faithful to the original name. 

Could the Harlequin name return?

Global Mutual, a company managing £4.2 billion of global assets, primarily in retail, has not confirmed any details about a new name for Watford’s shopping centre.

Although Steve Gray, head of European retail asset management at Global Mutual, said the company can “look to the future in confidence”.

He said: "intu Watford has performed resiliently despite the challenges brought by the coronavirus.

"Footfall is recovering steadily and the team has continued to sign some fantastic new deals with high quality tenants.

"We also have strong support from our creditor group who have committed to inject significant new funds into our four shopping centres, providing the financial stability we need during this period.”