Should landlords reduce rents to keep occupiers in Midlands shopping centres?

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Retail opinion by Matthew Hannah

The reality is that rents in the retail sector have fallen. A variety of factors are at play but it means retailers will be in a position to negotiate.

Lease lengths leases have fallen consistently over the last few years. Retailers can negotiate break clauses on new leases to avoid being locked into stores that are not performing, which helps to get the market moving forward. 

Vacant units leave the landlord paying the rates and the contribution to running costs and service charges so they are taking a commercial view.

Existing tenants need to consider if there are lease events such as break clauses or expiries on the horizon which would give them a base to negotiate from.

Customers want their shopping trip to be part of a leisure experience.  Existing centres can address this and reduce vacant units and increase dwell time through modern centre design and incorporating a diverse tenant mix of shops and restaurants.

Ultimately, the shopper is king and every centre needs landlords and tenants working together to ensure the footfall and spending levels remain healthy and seek to increase those levels through a range of initiatives.