// Hammerson collects just 41% of the latest quarterly rent from tenants
// Of the £61.5m rent due by the end of 2020, only £19.8m was collected
// The 41% figure is lower than the 63% collected in the second quarter of 2020
Hammerson has revealed it collected just 41 per cent of the latest quarterly rent from its tenants as the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions took their toll on the business.
Bosses at the shopping centre giant, which owns Birmingham’s Bullring and London’s Brent Cross, said that of the £61.5 million rent due by the end of 2020, only £19.8 million was collected.
Around £12.9 million has been deferred or not yet due, with £28.8 million outstanding.
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The 41 per cent figure is lower than the 63 per cent collected in the second quarter of 2020 at the previous peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Data revealed in Ireland, where Hammerson owns a handful of shopping centres, rent collection was just 31 per cent, the UK was 41 per cent and France was 46 per cent.
In the UK, flagship shopping centres, typically found in city centres, were particularly hard-hit, with just 36 per cent of rent collected – although retail parks had a better time with 64 per cent paid.
Hammerson bosses said they saw encouraging boosts in customer numbers during the Christmas trading period from November 30 to December 24 as the second English national lockdown ended and the tiering systems allowed for more stores to reopen.
However, city centre sites continued to struggle to return to levels seen in pre-pandemic times, with footfall hitting just 60 per cent of the previous year.
Retail parks were more positive, with customers typically feeling more comfortable visiting outdoor sites with parking facilities to avoid public transport.
Hammerson said footfall on these sites was at the same level as a year ago.
During the Christmas run-up, 75 per cent of tenants in the UK were open or offering click-and-collect.
However, so far this year this has fallen to just one-in-four open – either as “essential” retailers, non-essential stores offering click and collect, or restaurants and cafes providing takeaways and deliveries.
French and Irish stores saw similar restrictions.
Hammerson’s Irish portfolio is also seeing only a quarter of occupiers open and French sites are being hit by a 6pm national curfew.
Just over half of Hammerson’s Value Villages are closed although virtual shopping services at the sites have expanded strongly while closed, the company added.
with PA Wires