End of the road for the High Street?

End of the road for the High Street?

This morning’s news of yet another high-street name in decline provides further proof of the difficulties facing the retail sector. As more and more of us choose to shop online, retailers are struggling to meet the cost of retaining a high-street presence.

Today’s news of the closure of 31 House of Fraser stores comes on the same day that Amazon announce the creation of 2,500 permanent jobs in the UK in 2018, which will see their UK workforce increase to 27,500 by the end of the year.

The down-turn in high street shopping affects not only the retail occupiers, but also the investors who have acquired the premises hoping to secure a long-term income stream. For many landlords and tenants, the renegotiation of existing letting arrangements may be preferable to immediate closure.

With many high streets and shopping centres being left with empty units to fill, smaller less corporate operators may find that they are now able to find space to trade on terms that would perhaps not have been available before. Pop-up shops, short-term leases and concession-style halls offer an alternative to the institutional lease, but may only provide a short-term fix to a longer-term problem.

If you need some advice on the options open to you under an existing lease, or how to deal with a tenant in financial difficulty, please contact a member of our Commercial Property team on 020 3814 2020.