Big name retailers have signed new leases to stay at Atria Watford, it has been revealed tonight.

Among the string of lease renewals announced for Atria Watford shopping centre, formerly known as intu, is the Apple store and River Island.

The announcement is good news for the centre, which over the last couple of years has suffered the huge departures of Debenhams and John Lewis.

Global Mutual, which took over the shopping centre last year, and Savills believes the renewals at Atria Watford are "indicative of the confidence in physical retail".

New names have also come to Atria Watford, including Escape Hunt, an upcoming escape room and virtual reality experience that is set to open this year.

The stores, restaurants and cafes that have renewed their lease at Atria Watford, or recently joined, are:

• Apple (renewal)

• River Island (renewal)

• Next Beauty and Home

• Vision Express (renewal)

• Beaverbrooks (renewal)

• Joules

• TAG Heuer

• LakeLand (renewal)

• Claire’s (renewal)

• Pizza Hut Express

• BloomsYard café

• Escape Hunt

Steve Gray, Head of European Retail Asset Management at Global Mutual, said: “We are delighted to renew terms with a number of our high-profile tenants here at Atria Watford – setting a positive tone for the year ahead.

“The centre remains a top attraction for the area and the renewals are indicative of the strengths we continue to offer existing and prospective tenants.

“Despite the continued disruption brought by lockdowns, physical retail remains a central pillar of brands’ long-term strategies, key to driving sales online as well as in-store. We have seen continued interest in our space from prospective tenants and have a number of further exciting deals in the pipeline.

“All of this means we continue to make excellent progress against our three core strategic objectives - improving rent collection, securing our anchor tenants’ leases and adding exciting new footfall drivers to our centres.”