Croydon’s Allders department store is in crunch talks with its landlord to try and reduce its rent bill in a bid to stave off collapse.
Allders is said to be in talks this week with its landlord Minerva, which is now controlled by Delancey and Area Property Partners’ Jupiter Properties vehicle, over possible options thought to include a rent reduction or a rent free period.
It is thought that if the rent bill cannot be renegotiated the retailer may have to call in the administrators as early as next week.
Minerva said in a statement: “We’re currently in discussion with Allders and are working with them to explore the options available to them. We remain supportive of Allders, and seek an outcome that works for all the stakeholders concerned.”
In February Harold Tillman reportedly restructured his ownership by reducing his stake to 35% while retail restructuring expert Hilco took 35% and Royal Bank of Scotland’s West Register took 30%.
The department store is currently being marketed by Franc Warwick for around £50m, as it plays a strategic role in the proposed redevelopment of the adjacent Whitgift Centre, which Hammerson and Westfield are now vying to do.
If Allders were to go into administration it could affect the sale price of the store, but sources told Property Week the store is being sold with a rolling six month break option and bidders are looking to buy it for the development angle, and “no-one is looking to buy it on the basis of the income being there”.
Allders is understood to have been hit by declining sales due to the tough retail trading conditions.
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