// Superdrug tells landlords it will reduce its rent payments for at least three months amid coronavirus crisis
// It has been able to keep its stores open during the lockdown as it sells essentials
// However, it says it experienced a dramatic fall in footfall
Superdrug has reportedly informed landlords it will reduce its rent payments for at least three months, despite keeping a number of its UK stores open during the lockdown.
In a letter seen by the Financial Times, the health and beauty retailer revealed its intention to “reduce our lease payments to 25 per cent of our passing rent commencing from the next due rental date for a minimum period of three months”.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this is a rent reduction as opposed to a rent deferment,” the retailer wrote.
- Superdrug launches new same-day courier service for urgent orders
- Coronavirus: Superdrug to stay open “where necessary,” CEO says
Superdrug has been able to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic because it sells essentials such as baby food and nappies.
It operates from more than 800 stores in the UK and is owned by Hong-Kong based conglomorate AS Watson, which in turn is controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing, one of Asia’s richest men.
Superdrug did not clarify how many of its UK stores have remained open during the pandemic, but it did say UK high streets were facing “an unprecedented decline in footfall”.
“During this period of lockdown… we continue to incur the full costs of our store estate and we have paid our second quarter rent and service charges in full,” a Superdrug spokesperson told the Financial Times.
“We are now seeking rent reductions across our store estate. We have longstanding partnerships with many of our landlords and trust that we have their support to ensure that both parties may continue to grow and thrive post the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Superdrug joins a growing list if retailers that have asked for rent cuts in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on business.