Retail group Aurora Fashions is negotiating with landlords in a bid to reduce rents and get out of troublesome lease agreements, it has emerged.
As the group continues the process of restructuring as it seeks to separate its core brands Coast, Oasis and Warehouse, it is being closely monitored by some credit insurers over concerns about its position within the tough clothing market, according to The Sunday Express.
Increasing omnichannel opportunities is a key part of the group’s future strategy and, while it currently operates from 200 standalone stores, a demerging of the business will see Coast operate as a standalone business while Oasis and Warehouse will merge to become a single parent company known as Fresh Channel.
As such, the group is keen to negotiate a deal with landlords as it seeks to reduce its high street presence in favour of building a stronger digital profile.
Chief Finance Officer at Aurora Fashions Richard Granville told the newspaper that the group is looking to reduce its UK bricks & mortar portfolio by 25 per cent in the coming years and thus is in “daily discussions” with landlords.
He added: “We are seeking rent reductions and, if these cannot be attained, then we will pull out of stores.
“Fashion retailing is increasingly going online and times are extremely tough for bricks and mortar operators.
“Credit insurers are reducing their exposure to the retail market generally and we are no exception.
“However, we have very longstanding relationships with a limited number of suppliers and have not experienced nor anticipate experiencing any issues in our supply chain.”