Regent Street owner The Crown Estate hit by string of administrations

Retail sales in London’s West End are forecast to hit £1.2 billion in the run-up to Christmas, which is a third more than at the same time last year.
The district is planning a range of festive celebrations to attract shoppers throughout the season.
// The Crown Estate said it has been affected by administrations and CVAs
// The property giant manages the monarchy’s £13.4bn commercial property portfolio in the public interest
// The Crown Estate was a creditor to New Look

The Crown Estate, which owns the whole of London’s Regent Street and around half of St James’s, has been affected by company collapses.

The property giant, which manages the monarchy’s £13.4 billion commercial property portfolio in the public interest, has suffered as retailers and casual dining chains restructure due to pandemic lockdowns and restrictions.

The Crown Estate was a creditor to high street chains such as Casual Dining Group and New Look, all businesses which have sought CVAs this year.

READ MORE: Regent Street owner The Crown Estate offers switch to turnover based rents

The group returns its profits to the Treasury, which then sends a portion of profits as a “sovereign grant” to the Queen to cover the maintenance of a number of palaces.

The Crown Estate was owed a total of £4.2 million from New Look and £219,150 from Casual Dining Group, owner of Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and Café Rouge.

It had set aside £12.9 million in provisions for bad debts expected to arise in 2020/21 from its tenants falling into administration.

“There’s no doubt this is a difficult time for the retail and food and beverage sectors, and we’re particularly conscious of the impact it’s having in many cases on people’s jobs and livelihoods,” The Crown Estate said.

“We are working with our customers to offer them support where we can through this challenging period.”

In the 12 months to March 31, it posted pre-tax profits of £345 million, but has since been affected by the ongoing crisis.

Some of the biggest collapses in recent times include Debenhams, the 242-year-old department store chain that went into liquidation last week, affecting 12,000 jobs.

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group also suffered, falling into administration and putting over 13,000 jobs at risk.

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