THE WHAT? UK retailer Superdrug has slashed its rent payments to landlords due to an “unprecedented decline” in footfall amidst the coronavirus crisis, according to a report by the Financial Times.
THE DETAILS According to a letter addressed to landlords, as seen by the FT, the company stated it would be reducing its, “lease payments to 25 per cent of our passing rent commencing from the next due rental date for a minimum period of three months. For the avoidance of doubt, this is a rent reduction as opposed to a rent deferment.”
Superdrug is the latest retailer to withhold rent as the UK high street has taken a hit due to coronavirus lockdowns.
While the government has banned evictions for the three months beginning 23rd March, 2020, to help out high street retailers, many are stating that the measures are giving retailers an excuse to withhold pay unnecessarily.
THE WHY? Talking to the FT, the company said, “During this period of lockdown . . . we continue to incur the full costs of our store estate and we have paid our second quarter rent and service charges in full,.
“We are now seeking rent reductions across our store estate. We have longstanding partnerships with many of our landlords and trust that we have their support to ensure that both parties may continue to grow and thrive post the Covid-19 pandemic.”