Bluewater operator Landsec collects just 29% of retail rents
Jul 3, 2020
Property firm Landsec’s latest update lays bare the scale of the challenges facing retail landlords following the lockdown.
The real estate company behind retail destinations including Bluewater, Westgate Oxford and Trinity Leeds said on Friday that it collected just 29% of retail rent owed on the last quarterly rent day of 24 June.
The figure shows retailers’ struggles to pay rent after three months of store closures. It compares with 92% of retail clients who paid within the five-day time frame last year. A number of retail businesses have also withheld payments or requested deferrals.
Despite the gloominess of these figures, Landsec said footfall data shows people are going to stores. All shopping centres, outlets and retail parks across its portfolio are now open, with 79% of retail units back in business.
In England, for the two-week period since non-essential retail opened on 15 June, footfall was 60% of the level achieved in the equivalent period last year and like-for-like store sales were 80% of the level achieved in 2019. And encouragingly, average transaction values were up 22% compared with last year.
The report shows tenants are taking longer to pay their rent because of Covid-19, but the majority are still committed to meeting their rent obligations. Some 75% of the rent that had been due on 25 March has now been received, Landsec said.
And the company insisted it remains in a “financially robust” position, saying dividend payments for its shareholders will be reinstated following the half-yearly results announcement on 10 November.
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