EWM Group is including a pandemic clause into new leases for Bonmarché stores, having rescued the retailer from administration.
The clause ensures that the group will not be required to pay rent on the stores until the government lockdown is lifted and non-essential stores are permitted to re-open.
It also means that should another pandemic hit and national or local restrictions are enforced, rents will be paused or even refunded until the lockdown is lifted.
Philip Day’s EWM Group rescued Bonmarché from administration in February The company acquired most of Bonmarché’s assets, including stock and around 200 stores.
The new pandemic clause will not be rolled out to EWM Group’s other fascias Peacocks, Jaeger or Jane Norman.
A spokesman for Bonmarché said: “Where we are currently signing new leases for Bonmarché stores. We have agreed with landlords a new pandemic clause. The upshot of the clause is that new leases will start only when the stores can reopen and restrictions due to coronavirus are lifted.
“This was mutually agreed between Bonmarché and landlords so that new leases could be signed during this unusual period.”