2020 Destroyed The High Street & The Retail Property Market

During the course of last year, the High Streets were decimated.  Major national multiple retailers including Debenhams, Peacocks, Jaeger, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Mothercare, Beales, TM Lewin, Carphone Warehouse, Cath Kidston, Oasis, Warehouse, Oliver Sweeney, Evans, Brighthouse, DW Sports, J Crew and Feather & Black all either went into administration or completely disappeared.  Those who are still trading are hanging on by the skin of their teeth and the latest lock-down could be the final nail in their coffins.

These retail failures had catastrophic consequences for the retail property market and as landlords stopped receiving rent, they could no longer afford to pay their commercial mortgages.  It is inevitable that many more banks will soon start repossession proceedings which will wipe out hundreds of thousands of retail property landlords and cause values to plummet.

The help and support provided by the Government is too little and has come too late and those commercial property landlords who own high street retail shops face a double-edged sword.  They cannot sell, as no-one wants to buy high street shops which are vacant or occupied by companies who cannot afford to pay their rent and they cannot afford to continue paying their mortgages which will led to their properties being repossessed.

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Arcadia goes bust

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail empire has fallen into administration with 13,000 jobs and hundreds of stores at risk, making the Topshop owner the UK’s biggest corporate failure of the coronavirus crisis so far.  What does this mean for our high streets?  Its simple and the news is terrifying.  More vacant high street shops, more unemployment, fewer people visiting the high streets, rents will fall, property values will fall, landlords will be unable to pay interest on their loans, many will be forced to sell and some who are unable to sell due to a lack of buyers will have their properties repossessed.  Those who want to sell their commercial property still have options and can contact us to discuss selling their high street shops.

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Debenhams facing liquidation

The chain has become the latest high street casualty and will be liquidated in the New Year after rescue talks with JD Sport fell through, drawing a line under 242 years of trading and jeopardizing 12,000 jobs.  This is catastrophic for our high streets which relied on Debenhams to draw in customers and will lead to further shop closures, further falls in property prices and more people desperate to sell their commercial properties.

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Bon Marche collapses into administration

Womenswear chain Bonmarche has collapsed into administration for the second time in just over a year, putting more than 1,500 jobs at risk.  This will lead to even more vacant shops appearing on the high streets and the value of these properties falling substantially.

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High street shops, offices, houses, flats, sitting tenants

Sell My Commercial have recently purchased a large number of high street shops, offices and houses and flats with sitting tenants.

We are here to assist property owners who want to sell and need to sell and who are fed up with estate agents who promise the world, underdeliver, charge exorbitant fees and don’t give them enough time and attention.  We at Sell My Commercial Property take the pain and aggravation out of selling property and provide property owners with solutions to their property problems.

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All Bar One owner Mitchells & Butlers shuts down up to 20 pubs and restaurants permanently

An M&B spokeswoman said: ‘As announced in September, M&B re-opened the vast majority of its estate, approximately 95 per cent, after the first lockdown ended. ‘The remaining sites have been under review on a case-by-case basis since and we have taken the difficult decision not to reopen some of these sites”, according to the Daily Mail.  The sites which they have permanently closed will have devastating consequences on landlords who will be faced with vacant properties which in this climate will be extremely difficult to re-let.

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Nightclub group Deltic warns landlords of ‘closure’ without sale

The boss of Britain’s biggest nightclub operator has warned landlords that the company faces collapse unless a sale is agreed imminently – putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk – telling landlords it will have to close unless they agree to rent-free occupancy of its nightclubs.  This is another example of how owners of commercial property, especially ones with tenants in the leisure and hospitality sectors, are seeing the value of their properties fall.

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Sitting tenants

This article is different from most of the others in that it concerns residential property and specifically sitting tenants.

As well as buying all types of commercial property, we at Sell My Commercial Property also buy houses and flats.  We are very experienced at buying residential properties with sitting tenants and are keen to buy more.  This is a very specialized area and one which not many understand.  We will buy any house or flat which has a sitting tenant who occupies the property under either a regulated or assured tenancy.  We will also buy vacant houses and flats and ones which are occupied by tenants on assured short hold tenancies (AST’s).

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Fashion chains Peacocks and Jaeger fall into administration

Fashion chains Peacocks and Jaeger have today fallen into administration, putting more than 4,700 jobs and almost 500 shops at risk.  The retailers, which were both part of billionaire Philip Day’s EWM Group retail empire, confirmed today that they had appointed administrators from FRP Advisory.

It is very sad when we hear about retail businesses closing down and people losing their jobs but no-one ever mentions how this affects landlords and property owners.  We at Sell My Commercial Property are getting more enquiries now than ever before where landlords who own high street retail shops have lost their tenants and lost their rent and now have to sell, even if it means making a loss, to preserve at least some of their equity.  For example, we received a call last week from a very sweet lady who bought a high street shop with a 1 bed flat above in a small town in Essex about 3 years ago for £390,000.  She took a £300,000 mortgage and put in £90,000 of her hard earned savings.  When she bought the property it was vacant but she soon managed to find a tenant to take the shop and flat and pay her a rent of £30,000.  When she contacted us, she explained that her tenant had stopped trading in March and was unable to re-open in July.  Therefore, she had not received any rent for 7 months and could no longer afford to pay her mortgage.  She had been contacted by her lender who demanded that she pay her arrears and who said that if she was unable to do so, then she faced having her property repossessed.  Further, she was told that as the property was now only worth £290,000, she would lose all of the £90,000 which she put in.  When she contacted us, she was extremely emotional and upset and said she didn’t know what to do.  A local estate agent had told her that they would market the property at £300,000 and hoped to achieve around £290,000.  However, they wanted £1,000 up front as a marketing budget, quoted her a sale fee of £5,000 and said in this climate it could take at least 6 months to find a buyer.  These are the reasons why she contacted us.  We made her an offer of £310,000 in 24 hours, exchanged contracts 3 working days later and are completing next week.  She is now able to repay her lender, keep some of the money she put in and put all of this stress and upset behind her.

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Revolution Bars to close sites

Revolution Bars have had their CVA approved to close 6 sites and reduce their rent on 7 other sites.  This is a further blow to landlords and the high street and another sign that those in the hospitality sector continue to struggle and face a very bleak future.

We at Sell My Commercial Property will still buy pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs and any other business in the hospitality sector especially if the property is occupied and the tenant is still paying rent.

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