More than 25 major high street chains hold crunch talks with landlords to avert stores axe
More than 25 major high street chains are in crunch talks with landlords over a massive rent bill due to be paid by Wednesday as they battle to avoid axeing stores.
Stores groups including Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Debenhams, Primark, Swedish giant H&M, Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia group and Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct are understood to be locked in discussions this weekend.
Retail giants selling clothes and home goods have asked for concessions for up to seven months that include payment cuts of as much as 50 per cent as they face the reality of weeks or months of store closures. Many have already triggered partial or full closure plans.
John Lewis is one of the many firms understood to be in talks with landlords
Other chains said to be involved are JD Sports, New Look and Superdry. Mike Ashley also owns House of Fraser.
It is understood that some major retailers could be preparing to withhold millions in payments until the matter is resolved.
When asked where negotiations had got to last night, one source said: ‘In all honesty I’m not sure this is a negotiation,’ adding, if no agreement can be reached on payment reductions, some chains ‘simply won’t pay’.