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Coronavirus: Primark withholds quarterly rent

Primark withheld its quarterly rent in a bid to force landlords to consider revising terms urgently as the COVID-19 pandemic decimates the fashion retailer’s trading. The move pertains to 110 of the value retailer’s leasehold properties in the UK, and the quarterly rent was due yesterday.

Primark has written to landlords asking them for their support on lease agreements to mitigate the unprecedented financial impact of the pandemic on the business. Primark wants to sit down with landlords and address both scheduling and quantum of payments.

Primark, which doesn’t trade online like many of its high street fashion rivals, temporarily shut all 189 of its UK stores over the weekend ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wider retail lockdown announcement on Monday night.

As a result, it now faced a £650 million loss of sales per month now that its stores in the UK and abroad are temporarily shut due to the pandemic.

Primark revealed over the weekend that it had cancelled all new clothing orders from suppliers, such as factories in India and Bangladesh, but said it would continue to honour orders already shipped or delivered to Primark warehouses or stores.