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Clarks seeks rent cuts

Clarks is the latest retailer to demand rent cuts from landlords, following a period of weak trading. 

The footwear retailer is asking for rent discounts of up to 30% the Sunday Times reports, and is offering to extend leases in some stores in return. 

Clarks appointed Harper Dennis Hobbs as property advisors in 2017 to right-size its property portfolio, involving conversations with all landlords. 

A spokeswoman for Clarks said: ”Since early 2017, when Clarks announced that it would be conducting a full review and modernisation of the company’s property portfolio, we have been constantly reviewing our store estate to ensure that all stores are the right size and located in the right places to enable us to provide the right offering for customers.

“As a key brand on many of the UK’s high streets, we are committed to retaining our presence and ensuring our stores continue to play a critical role in delivering a great experience for our customers.”

Clarks joins retailers including River Island, Jack Wills and Primark in seeking better rental terms as other struggling rivals use company voluntary arrangements to close stores and slash rents. Fellow shoe chains Office and Schuh have also been affected by tough trading, and have hired restructuring advisors to asses their options. Office appointed advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) in July, and Schuh called in KPMG earlier this month

Clarks appointed a new CEO and bolstered its board earlier this year. In January the retailer announced its UK factory in Street, Somerset could close after failing to meet manufacturing and cost targets. 

 

 

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