Shoe retailer Clarks has revealed it seeking rent reductions of up to 30% following a period of “poor trading”, according to a report by The Sunday Times.
The report said the retailer asked landlords to extend leases on certain stores in return for reduced rent costs. A source also told The Sunday Times that many of the retailer’s stores were too “profitable” for it to be a CVA candidate.
A spokesperson told Retail Sector: “Since early 2017, when Clarks announced that it would be conducting a full review and modernisation of the company’s property portfolio, we have been constantly reviewing our store estate to ensure that all stores are the right size and located in the right places to enable us to provide the right offering for customers.
“As a key brand on many of the UK’s high streets, we are committed to retaining our presence and ensuring our stores continue to play a critical role in delivering a great experience for our customers.”
The news follows reports in July of Primark pushing for a 30% reduction in rates on stores where leases have several years left to run, and offered to invest in refurbishment. Monsoon and Arcadia also approved CVAs, which reduced rates allowing the companies to restructure and close underperforming stores.
Earlier this year Clarks announced the closure of its robot-assisted shoe factory in Street, Somerset, leaving 35 employees without a job.
In January Clarks announced a proposal to cease production and close its Morelight manufacturing facility, and added that “despite [its] best efforts”, the levels of production and cost targets it hoped for “could not be reached in the short to medium term”.