// Boots & Poundstretcher facing legal action for not paying rent during coronavirus lockdown
// Both retailers will be served with statutory notices
Boots is reportedly among retailers facing legal action due to its failure to pay rent despite staying open during the coronavirus lockdown.
Landlords will begin legal proceedings against the health and beauty retailer as well as discount chain Poundstretcher for refusing to pay rent, Financial Times reported.
Both retailers will be served with statutory notices in a bid to force them to pay up.
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Some landlords have accused tenants of taking advantage of the crisis by refusing to pay rent.
Many retailers are under pressure at the moment as many have been ordered to close down temporarily.
Poundstretcher, which has 450 stores in the UK, has left the majority of its estate open.
It wrote to landlords last week to inform them it would not pay rent or service charges for at least a month.
Meanwhile, Atmore Group said on Tuesday it will serve statutory notices for non-payment of rent to Poundstretcher and Boots – giving them 21 days to respond or face a court hearing.
Poundstretcher is also due to face legal action from Glenbrook, a Manchester-based landlord.
Last week, Boots said it will temporarily close 60 of its stores in an effort to redeploy pharmacists to where they’re most needed in busier branches during the coronavirus pandemic.
The health and beauty retailer said most of the stores affected would be in airports, train stations, city centres and retail parks where there are almost no customers at the moment.
“We need to make sure that we have enough colleagues playing their vital role where it’s currently most needed and that we can send home those colleagues who are working in stores that are not busy,” Boots said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Poundstretcher revealed a slump in profits on Tuesday – which swung the chain’s future into uncertainty.
Turnover rose 12.2 per cent to £434.6 million while profits slumped from £2 million to a £227,000 pre-tax loss in the year ended March 31 2019.
The discount retailer closed 16 stores last year and opened 72.