DIY group Focus has won agreement from most of its landlords to carry on paying monthly rents from the end of this month.
Focus, which is owned by Cerberus, has been paying monthly rather than quarterly after securing a CVA in 2009 but the arrangement was scheduled to come to an end at the close of March.
Landlords’ continued willingness to deal with Focus on a monthly basis will help the retailer as it continues with turnaround plans including the roll-out of its Genesis store model.
Focus chairman Bill Grimsey said: “The monthly rental situation is progressing very well. The majority of our landlords have agreed to do it.”
In most cases the deal is that payments can be made monthly for another year. “It shows we can work together with our landlords,” said Grimsey.
Last month it emerged that Focus, which has 178 shops and carries debt of about £230m, was offloading six stores to Asda. Grimsey said there would “not necessarily” be more such deals but maintained: “We’ve said that if we have assets of value that can be used to support the work we’re doing, we’d do that.”
Several retailers have agreed monthly rents on some or all of their stores, which has become easier since the recession hit.
JJB Sports, which is in the process of its second CVA within two years, aims to secure monthly payments on the entirety of its estate for the next two years.
Retail Week Knowledge Bank director Robert Clark said as trading conditions worsen, there will be more appeals to landlords from retailers. He said: “They will be more under pressure, and expecting to be able to do it.”