Ryman threatens to withhold rent until non-essential retail reopens

Stationery and office supplies retailer Ryman hires former Staples executive Peter Birks as the company's new chief executive.
"Peter brings a huge amount of energy, leadership skills and industry intel to Ryman." : ​Theo Paphitis.
// Ryman to withhold rent until non-essential retailers are allowed to reopen
// Theo Paphitis’ company is embroiled in a row with landlords
// Theo Paphitis Retail Group also owns lingerie firm Boux Avenue and hardware retailer Robert Dyas

Ryman has reportedly threatened to withhold rent from landlords until non-essential retailers are allowed to reopen.

The stationery retailer, which is owned by Dragons’ Den businessman Theo Paphitis, is currently embroiled in a row with landlords over unpaid rent, The Telegraph reported.

Theo Paphitis Retail Group, which also owns lingerie firm Boux Avenue and hardware retailer Robert Dyas, wrote to some of Ryman’s landlords to tell them it would be withholding rent.

READ MORE: Theo Paphitis’ Ryman & Robert Dyas grow but rent cuts sought for Boux Avenue

Non-essential retailers have been forced to remain shut since the third national lockdown began last month and have been told they could reopen on April 12 at the earliest under the government’s new roadmap.

Ryman has demanded that one landlord compensate itself for the loss of rent by claiming for it under its insurance policy.

However, lawyers for the landlord argued that the insurance policy was not in place to account for any rent lost in the event a tenant chooses to stop paying.

Paphitis restarted talks with landlords for Boux Avenue last June after being forced to put negotiations on hold.

Meanwhile, Ryman is also said to have been in talks with landlords over switching its lease arrangements to a turnover-based model.

Commercial tenants unable to pay their rent during lockdown are protected by a government ban that prevents landlords from taking debt enforcement action.

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  1. Totally unfair. The lockdown rules are not the fault of landlords. Rymans is an absurdly profitable business at they work on massive margins.

  2. People these days don’t need so many pens, papers, diaries etc. The last year he crossed out dates a waste so I won’t be buying a calendar anymore. They are useless if things change, easier to have it on mobile. Loads of things like the camera died because of the mobile… now easier to do everything in one place that’s causing obesity

  3. How dare the multi millionaire Theo Paphitis say he is not going to pay his rent until the current lockdown ends . He should dig into his deep pockets and pay the rent , Landlords have to pay their mortgages , shareholders and a lot of private Landlords are on their knees now and sick with worry . When this pandemic ends he is going to be back making huge profits with better lease terms and at the Landlords expense shame on you .I only hope you have property that you rent out and your tenants treat you the same way . If you are a tennant of Theo Paphitis act now an don’t pay your rent , contact the press and see how he reacts.

  4. Nice of the government to be generous with landlord’s money. Note that no MP has taken one penny of a salary reduction.

    As landlords we have made it our business to work with tenants both residential and commercial. It makes no sense to evict a decent tenant when they can’t operate through no fault of their own.
    But that should be our choice not the government’s.


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