Jan 3, 2020

Primark stores in demand to anchor UK’s floundering high streets

The discount clothing retailer, which trades from 189 stores in the UK generating roughly half of its £7.7bn group revenue, is increasingly in demand as a tenant for landmark buildings on struggling high streets or anchor stores in regional shopping centres. At least 22 Debenhams stores will close under a company voluntary arrangement while more House of Fraser stores are likely to shut their doors in 2020. TK Maxx, a unit of US giant TJX, launched in the UK in 1994 and now has 345 stores. Jonathan de Mello, head of retail consultancy at property adviser Harper Dennis Hobbs, said Primark and other growing chains such as Sports Direct would typically "Negotiate hard over every single term" and often ended up paying less per square foot than even department stores. "Their rent-to-sales ratio in an individual store might be as low as 2 to 3 per cent, against 4 to 5 per cent for department stores and an average across all stores of closer to 10," he said.

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