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Bonmarché to insert pandemic clause into leases

Lauretta Roberts
17 April 2020

Bonmarché, the value fashion chain bought out of administration by Philip Day's Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) group last year, is inserting pandemic clauses into its new store leases.

Such a move will allow the retailer to be able to take up new store leases and not pay any rent until the lock-down is lifted and will entitle it to rent refunds as a result of any future pandemic lock-down.

The clauses are only being added to new lease agreements with landlords for Bonmarché stores, it has been reported, and the company has said that landlords are keen to sign the leases since they are unlikely to be making any lettings while the pandemic is underway.

“This [clause] was mutually agreed between Bonmarché and landlords so that new leases could be signed during this unusual period," a spokesperson for the company told Retail Week.

Bonmarché was acquired out of administration by Philip Day's Peacocks chain last November and it immediately closed 30 underperforming stores, leaving a total of 285 stores in operation.

Bonmarché had been floated on the London Stock Exchange until Day acquired it and took it private in July, by which time the business was in considerable distress. It was placed into administration in October and then acquired by its sister company the following month.

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