Landlords hit as retailers shut up shop
Posted on 12:40pm Monday 23rd May 2011
Landlords hit as retailers shut up shops
Landlords are being squeezed as struggling retailers abandon high streets that are losing out in the battle against malls.
As cash – strapped consumers rein in their spending the face of the UK’s high streets are changing with major chains closing hundreds of stores.
As much as 14.5 % of the UK’s high street retail space is now vacant with landlords saddled with bills for empty premises.
The number of retail leases granted in 2002 – 2004 was 11,205 but plunged to 5,162 by 2009 to 2010.
Some companies are paying its landlords a reduced lease level under a “company voluntary agreement” which have saved retailers from the clutches of administration.
Landlords are being hit in the pocket as they not only lost out on rents but were forking out for business rates on empty premises.
The closures are hitting landlords on the high street hard. Malls in London are doing well because they are seen as so-called “destination” shopping places where everything is under one roof.
High streets need to find their way again and the government obviously realizes this. Landlords are offering shorter leases to retailers, with four and a half years the average.