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Store rents fall to £1 as landlords look to avoid paying business rates

Britain will see a new raft of “pound shops” as the depressed high street has led landlords to offer annual rents of only £1

Retail landlords have become so desperate to avoid paying business rates on empty units that rents have dropped to nominal amounts, according to the Financial Times.

Dixons, owner of Currys and PC World, told the newspaper that it was paying £1 on a handful of its stores.

Most are on high streets with soaring vacancy rates which are earmarked for closure when leases end. The Arcadia Group and Mothercare are among retailers that will quit the high street for shopping centres and retail parks when leases expire.

Card Factory also said that it had business rates only deals on some of its stores. Business rates are typically charged at 40% of a shop’s rental value and have long been criticised by both retailers and landlords.

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