Primark holds back rent as coronavirus pandemic decimates trading

Primark world's biggest

Fashion giant Primark has withheld its quarterly rent due today and is seeking to revise terms with landlords urgently due to the “unprecedented” circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Primark shut all of its UK stores at the weekend, ahead of a wider retail lockdown ordered by prime minister Boris Johnson, and has contacted landlords today to appeal for their help amid what may be a lengthy shutdown.

Primark parent ABF finance director John Bason told Retail Week that the retailer, which has a total of 110 UK leasehold stores out of a 189-strong estate, wants to “sit down with landlords” and address both scheduling and quantum of payments. He said that despite the short notice given of the need for new arrangements, Primark is a “long-term investor in the high street, and that’s not going to change”.

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