// Frasers Group tells landlords it will not pay rents until trading returns to normal
// The group owns Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Flannels, Game and Jack Wills
Frasers Group has reportedly informed its landlords it will not pay rents until it is “fully able to freely trade as a business”.
The group, which owns Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Flannels, Game and Jack Wills, was forced to close all of its stores during the coronavirus pandemic.
Frasers Group said it aims to go rent-free until trading “reaches a level” that it, and its landlords, had expected when agreeing rental terms, Estates Gazette reported.
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In a letter to landlords, Frasers said it will not be making any rental payments until it is fully able to freely trade as a business and the level of trade reaches a level which the parties would have envisaged when they drew up the lease.
Although non-essential stores in England have reopened, footfall has remained low as Brits remained fearful of going into shops.
Moreover, Frasers Group criticised its landlords for not making the “obvious provision” of suspending rental obligations when retailers were unable to trade during the coronavirus lockdown.
It also asked landlords to switch to monthly, rather than quarterly, rent payments to help the group better manage its cashflow.
The news comes four months after Frasers Group requested 50 per cent waivers on its rents as it seeks to reduce costs during the pandemic.
It added: “A tenancy of a property which could not be used for trading was not the deal we made as tenant. The whole purpose was for us to be able to trade.”