According to an article in the Financial Times, Sir Philip Green has written again to landlords calling for an “open and honest conversation” about the rent review system.
The current system, which Green describes as 'archaic' seems to review rents in an upward only direction even at times when property prices are falling and retail profits are diminishing.
Sir Philip's campaign has the strength of some 30 other large retailers behind it (see earlier story). This number could be greatly increased by adding the weight of tens of thousands of smaller shops to the debate.
Landlords have always held the seat of power but that could change if sufficient numbers of large retailers work together.
BUSINESS FORUM COMMENT
This is already happening on a small scale in Brighton’s North Laine, where the North Laine Traders Association (NLTA) hold a rent register and advise prospective new tenants about how much a property is actually worth in order to control rents for the whole area.
In parts of Brighton where these controls are not in place rents have been known to more than double in one review.
The NLTA has shown that by working together retailers can see some wins. Large retailers operating on a national scale could take some lessons from the experience of the NLTA and really make significant improvements for all retailers.
Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants