Retail Excellence has written to Damien English, the Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail, requesting the Government to step in and offer support for retailers who are struggling to pay commercial rents.
“Sales across the retail sector in the first half of this year were down 30 percent with non-essential retailers closed for three months. City centres and shopping centres have been particularly badly affected, whilst we have seen a slight recovery during the summer the outlook for the rest of this year remains bleak. We are calling on the government to issue a code of practice and introduce an arbitration service to help with a speedy resolution of disputes between retailers and landlords.
We are also calling on commercial landlords to engage with retailers and move to a payment model based on paying a percentage of turnover whilst we remain in these uncertain times.
Failure to address these points urgently will result in further store closures and job losses in an industry that has already been decimated by COVID-19,” Duncan Graham, Managing Director of Retail Excellence, asserted.