Monsoon Accessorize requests rent waivers from landlords

Monsoon Accessorize

Monsoon Accessorize is reported to have written to landlords to request waivers on rents or risk stores being closed altogether.

The struggling high street chain issued the letter as it is trying to establish which of its 220 stores could be reopened after lockdown, The Telegraph has reported.

Monsoon Accessorize has told landlords that they have just one week to respond to the demands after which the business will be placed into administration.

The company is working with FRP Advisory on the survival plan and it is understood that the chain’s founder Peter Simon will buy the business back out of administration but with fewer stores. FRP is aiming to minimise creditors’ losses.

Landlords may be more willing to offer deals in the current climate after several retailers including Cath Kidston, Warehouse and Oasis disappeared from the high street during lockdown. Cath Kidston will operate as an online brand only while Warehouse and Oasis have ceased trading altogether.

Simon injected a further £12m into the business last year as part of a restructuring plan that saw it achieve rent cuts on 135 stores and close 40.

The business has been struggling to find relevance in a market for some time with stiff competition from the likes of global giant Zara. The COVID-19 has been a particularly tough blow, given its reputation for occasion dressing, with weddings and other social gatherings cancelled this summer.