Breaking: Retail Rents:
Network Rail has announced measures to support its retail tenants housed in Britain’s busiest and biggest railway stations, and right across its commercial estate. These businesses are a feeling a severe impact on trade as a result of reduced travel and therefore footfall as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and clampdown.
With immediate effect the government owned rail network is cancelling all first quarter (25 March – 23 June 2020) rent payments due from its tenants, which is says will provide significant relief for the small businesses who are extremely worried about the impact of the virus on their sales.
Network Rail is also cancelling all base rent payments for retailers in its managed stations for the first quarter of the new financial year (April-June 2020). Retail tenants in stations would typically pay a minimum guaranteed base rent, with an additional turnover element based on their sales.
Network Rail says it has something like 100 of the major retailers located in its stations around Britain, the biggest and busiest in stations being in locations such as London’s Waterloo, King’s Cross, Euston and cities like Leeds and Manchester etc. There are something like 1,000 Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SMEs) business tenants throughout the rail network.
David Biggs, managing director for Network Rail Property, has said:
“We work in partnership with retailers and tenants to provide positive experiences for passengers and communities. In challenging times, it is important we step up to the plate and show our partners they are valued, and we are ready and willing to help. That is why we have taken this decisive action today.
“We also understand more support may be required as this situation develops. We will continue to liaise with central government and will keep speaking with our retailers and tenants about how we can assist further.”
Network Rail is writing to all its retail / small business tenants to make them aware of the new measures to support their businesses.