River Island asks landlords to cut rents by 40%

// River Island in talks over rent reductions
// Retailer looking to establish turnover-only rent deals with landlords
// Talks come as River Island awaits new chief executive Will Kernan next month

River Island is negotiating with landlords over cutting store rents by up to 40 per cent, according to Drapers.

The fashion retailer is proposing to reduce rents across the majority of its 270-store portfolio, according to industry sources sited by Drapers.

It’s thought River Island is looking to establish turnover-only rent deals of up to 12 per cent in its stores in marginal locations.

Back in June River Island appointed former Wiggle and The White Company boss Will Kernan as the fast fashion brand’s new chief executive.

Kernan is set to join the retailer in September, replacing current chief executive Ben Lewis, who is stepping down from the role after nine years.

The discussions come just as Sports Direct was also reported to be negotiating with Jack Wills’ landlords to accept rent-free tenancy agreements across some of its worst-performing stores, according to Drapers.

The Mike Ashley-owned business is understood to be seeking to slash rents to zero, and is offering landlords five per cent of turnover at the majority of Jack Wills stores.

It’s thought it has only agreed to pay full rent at eight of Jack Wills’ 100 stores.

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette’s free daily email newsletter