High Street

Office Outlet to ask for three-year rent-free period in CVA

Stationery retail chain Office Outlet is expected to make a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) announcement today (Monday 18 August) in which it may seek a three-year rent-free period for its stores.

The Sunday Times reported that Deloitte would be handling the company’s impending CVA and 20 of its stores may benefit from the rent-free occupancy. Its remaining stores will seek reduced rents.

The chain formerly known as Staples may also consider shutting some of its worst performing stores.

When contacted, Deloitte did not confirm the details of the CVA.

The stationery chain is the latest retailer to undergo a CVA in order to lower costs including the reduction of rents, but Office Outlet’s request for a rent-free period is not typical. Real estate association, the British Property Federation (BPF), recently criticised the retail sector for ‘mis-using’ the CVA process to reduce rents and called on the government to conduct an “urgent review” of the practise.

Office Outlet employs around 1,000 people and has 96 outlets and if it goes ahead with the closures, will see 50 jobs affected.

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