June 3, 2020
Retail and leisure
Primark plans to make a ‘splash’ by reopening 153 stores and unveiling a new site in Manchester’s Trafford Centre as soon as government guidance allows on June 15th. Despite having to close the entire portfolio and losing millions in lost sales, the Finance Director of parent firm ABF has confirmed that they will not be prioritising an ecommerce platform as they feel that the relevance of the Primark value offer will continue to drive customers into stores.
Sportswear retailer JD Sports has confirmed that they plan to open all 300 stores as quickly as possible in line with government guidelines. They will start with stores located on retail parks and high streets and will review the opening of sites in shopping centres as landlords announce openings of wider schemes.
The Entertainer will reopen all 173 stores on June 15th with social distancing in place alongside a new ‘ready in 10’ concept which will see stores acting as a collection point for orders made on consumers' phones in a queue outside. The toy retailer struggled to keep up with a surge in online demand after schools closed and parents looked for items to keep children occupied. Founder Gary Grant has said the ‘ready in 10’ format should help them to serve more customers per hour than a social distanced set-up and that their objective was to “satisfy all of our customers to achieve all they want in the fastest possible time that we can serve them”.
Harrods is to open an outlet store at Westfield London to help sell off excess stock left unsold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The site will open in July and will include fashion, beauty and accessories departments curated from sale items available online.
After announcing that it was close to falling into administration, Monsoon Accessorize has called for landlords to waive rents to save all stores from closing down for good. The company was trading well and was profitable before all stores were forced to shut due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Landlords have until Monday to decide whether they will ask for rental payments.
Following successful reopening across Europe, premium fashion brand Reiss has announced it will open 26 stores across the UK on June 15th with increased safety measures. Measures include; limiting the number of customers in stores, protecting staff with PPE equipment, increased cleaning rotations and encouraging customers to try items on at home by extending the returns policy to 60 days and limiting access to fitting rooms. CEO Christos Angelides said “We have been encouraged by the Reiss stores that have reopened in Europe where the reaction from our customers has been very positive when shopping the new collection. We have transferred key learnings from our European teams and customers to ensure a safe, robust and enjoyable experience in the UK. We very much look forward to welcoming our customers back through our doors on 15th June.”
Forehead temperature scanners have been installed in a bar in Manchester in a bid to prepare for opening post-lockdown. An alert will be raised in one second for anyone entering Albert’s Schloss bar and restaurant that has a raised temperature.
Budget hotel brand Travelodge is to launch a CVA after losing £350m in business due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group hopes that a CVA will save over 10,000 jobs and will avoid the need to close any of the sites in the coming months.
Boparan, the group which owns casual dining brands Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner has paid £3.4m for 31 ex-Carluccio’s sites. Carluccio’s fell into administration in March, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced all sites to close, following an extended period of challenges for the Italian restaurant.
Shopping centre owner intu has released a statement saying that it forecasts a loss of £181.6m in rent and service charges this year due to the ongoing pandemic. Many of its retail tenants have been forced to shut, resulting in many struggling to pay rent. This news follows a difficult few months for intu, which is nearly £4.5 billion in debt. However, it has said it expects to recover slightly in 2021, when the market will start to return to normal.