May 3, 2020

Superdrug becomes latest retailer to slash rent payments to landlords

In a letter addressed to its landlords on April 22 and seen by the Financial Times, the company states its intention "To reduce our 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," the letter adds. The government has taken steps to protect commercial tenants, banning evictions for three months from March 23 and restricting landlords from using "Aggressive" measures to collect unpaid rent a month later. The Nottingham-based group has withheld rent for the March-June quarter on about 25 per cent of its stores that are owned by large commercial landlords, pending negotiations about sharing the burden of sharply reduced revenue, but said it continued to pay rent on the rest of its estate that is owned by individual or smaller landlords. Perfume shop ICI Paris XL withheld rent payments for April from 155 Dutch landlords, prompting one landlord to launch legal proceedings against the European division of AS Watson.

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