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.