Blacks Leisure is to contact landlords over the coming weeks to seek exits from the leases on the stores it intends to close, and could agree a company voluntary arrangement by November.
Blacks is to close 89 loss-making stores as part of a restructuring. According to the Financial Times, the retailer plans to offer landlords six months’ rent to withdraw from the stores’ leases, and may also offer to pay empty rates if landlords cannot immediately let the empty stores.
The British Property Federation told the paper that landlords were likely to agree if the measures proposed by Blacks were fair and reflected precedents set by previous CVAs.
The Blacks plan is similar to those made by JJB Sports and DIY group Focus, which both entered company voluntary arrangements this year. Blacks has not commented on reports that it would be seeking a CVA.
Last week, Blacks put its boardwear subsidiary Sandcity into administration as part of its restructuring.