Next is among retailers at the Westfield London shopping centre refusing to pay part of their service charges after the developer increased them.
Developer Westfield increased the annual service charges from £8.50 per sq ft to around £14 per sq ft shortly after the centre opened in October last year, according to The Financial Times.
The report said that Next is thought to only want to pay the original agreed price. Next group property director Andrew Varley told the newspaper that Next felt the charges were unreasonable. “We are in discussions with the landlord along with other major retailers at the centre and hope to resolve the matter amicably,” he said.
Westfield said that the London service charge was under review as the centre was in its first year of trading. But it added that it would cut the operating costs in the majority of its shopping centres in the UK by about 10% to help retailers survive.
The report said that the service charge increase has angered several tenants at Westfield London, and that the increase could put up the costs for some retailers by £500,000 a year.