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Jigsaw seeking rent reductions from landlords

Lauretta Roberts
09 January 2020

Jigsaw is the latest high street name to seek rent reductions on its store portfolio and is looking for cuts of 30%, it has been reported.

According to Property Week, the premium fashion retailer which operates around 80 physical retail stores, has appointed Colliers International to advise on its property portfolio and it is in advanced negotiations on certain regional stores such as The Mall at Cribbs Causeway shopping centre in Bristol.

Jigsaw has gone through a number of changes at the head of the company, following the departure of CEO Peter Ruis in March 2018 after a 4.5 year tenure.

Ruis was replaced in July 2018 on an interim basis by Chris Stephenson, formerly of Pentland Brands, who moved into a non-executive role in January 2019. Toby Foreman then stepped into the interim CEO role, having previously been HR director.

The company, which was founded by Peter Robinson in 1970, received a £20m cash injection shortly after Ruis' departure in March 2018 from its founder, former Carphone Warehouse boss David Ross and a new lender, the Secure Trust Bank.

In the year to September 2018, parent company Robinson Webster Holdings, which also owns The Shop at Bluebird, recorded sales down 2% to £102m due to the closure of some loss-making stores, while like-for-like sales were up slightly at +0.3%.

However it incurred an operating loss of -£9.5m, due to a number of one-off non-cash charges, compared to -£0.5m in the prior year, while underlying adjusted EDITDA was £0.4m, compared to £2.4m in the prior year.

It is the latest in a line of stores to open negotiations on rents with landlords with Clarks, Primark and River Island all believed to have sought to do the same. Meanwhile a number of firms, such as Arcadia and Debenhams, have sought reductions as part of a CVA process.

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