LONDON, United Kingdom — Primark is asking landlords to cut its rents in an attempt to compete with rivals that used insolvency proceedings to reduce costs and remain open, the Sunday Times reported, without saying where it got the information.
The fast-fashion retailer is asking for cuts of as much as 30 percent on contracts with several years left in exchange for lease extensions or refurbishments, according to the newspaper. Primark has 189 stores, most of which are leased, it said.
Primark, a unit of Associated British Foods Plc, told the Sunday Times it has “a duty to our shareholders to maintain a competitive cost base” and seeks to maintain good relations with its landlords.
Other retailers including lingerie specialist Ann Summers and shoemaker Schuh are also pushing landlords to lower costs, the newspaper said. The UK retail industry has seen a series of bankruptcies and restructurings in recent years amid the growth of online shopping and slump in high street revenues.
By Benjamin Katz; editors: Anthony Palazzo, Abigail Moses and Sara Marley.