The UK High Street is at breaking point and landlords must step in to avert another ‘rent day’ disaster, says the British Retail Consortium.
The message comes following last week’s collapse of Habitat and Jane Norman on ‘rent day’ (the quarterly time when rent is due) which has claimed many past victims, including former High Street chain Zavvi.
Now Frances Coulson of insolvency trade body R3 predicts the next rent day in September may be a “hurdle too far for some struggling businesses.” The BRC says landlords must be flexible or risk an empty High Street.
“The practice of landlords insisting on rent money three months in advance is an anachronism which has no place in the world of instant electronic payments,” the BRC’s Sarah Corey told MCV.
“Thanks to us campaigning, we believe that new leases paying a month in advance have become the norm. A higher number of existing leases should also be revised.
“Boarded-up shops are in no one’s interests. More commercial landlords should follow the example already being set by the best and offer greater flexibility on rental terms.”
One high profile retailer told MCV: “Landlords need to be more realistic. The costs aren’t reflective of the revenue available on the High Street – rent should be based on turnover. The more shops that close, the worse the situation will be.”