Bollocks

Retail stalwart Primark has refused to pay its rent bill as it seeks more support from its landlords in a sign of the chaos sweeping the high street.

The firm is scrambling to save cash after being forced to shut all of its stores at a cost of £650m a month in lost sales.

A host of firms are thought to have refused to pay rent on Wednesday, the day when quarterly bills are due for a huge number of retail players. That Primark is among them despite being one of the most resilient names in the industry shows the huge pressure firms are under.

That’s not a sign of the pressure Primark is under. It’s a sign of the pressure Primark can apply, given that it has market power in these extreme times.

So, imagine that you’re one of the leading and most profitable clothes retailers in the country. And everyone around you is going bust. So, they get rent reductions and you don’t. That isn’t going to make you happy. So, you scweam and scweam until you’re sick and you too get rent reductions.

True, the landlords are so screwed. But that makes who unhappy?

42 thoughts on “Bollocks”

  1. It is only Day 3 and economic slump is already well under way. 1 million have applied for dole in Canada and they are having to streamline claims.

    If this shite is not stopped and stopped soon the Crash is at last on.
    Blojo should stop the crap but of course he won’t so at least another one or two weeks of insanity. The damage will be done by then. And the 93% of dickheads now endorsing this crap will be baying for his blood.

    The worst is that the buffoon is likely the best available–I say that out of zero respect for him–his Cabinet of turds are zeros and Zanu are about as welcome as rule by the CCCP.

    Leftist scum wanted even MORE stupid antics undertaken–but as always with them that will be instantly forgotten once they see a chance to attack.

  2. Well the c*nt who is the landlord of the offices my firm operates from has cited the “stresses and strains we all face” and refused any reduction in rent. Generously he’s allowed us to pay monthly in advance instead of quarterly for this quarter, providing we paid the next month immediately and accepted that it was entirely at his discretion and he could change his mind at any time.

  3. After this shit, the buildings will still be there and the landlords will still own them.

    But all retail, yes, including Primani, will belong to Amazon, all restaurants to Burger King, all airlines to Ruinair.

    That would be shit for us, and it would be bad for landlords as well. Far worse, in fact, than charging reduced rents on buildings that are currently no use to their tenants.

  4. It’s a slippery slope. One day you don’t pay rent because of Coronavirus. Next day because of the landlord has Israeli owners, then because landlord doesn’t have a clear Trans policy. Supreme court will be very busy fending off pissed off landlords who try to get rid of these poor tenants. The deathof Hight Street, next the death of retails parks. I will always take the side of a landlord over a complaining and moaning tenant.

  5. In fact, I am quite shocked to notice the antipathy here to the asset owning class. A bit of virus and everyone’s a commie.

  6. “But all retail, yes, including Primani, will belong to Amazon, all restaurants to Burger King, all airlines to Ruinair.

    That would be shit for us, and it would be bad for landlords as well. Far worse, in fact, than charging reduced rents on buildings that are currently no use to their tenants.”

    I thought all restaurants became Taco Bell after the franchise wars?

  7. British Land has just culled the dividend, no doubt poor tenants similar to Primark et al. were a factor. See, we’re all suffering here.

  8. BoM4
    Great minds etc. I couldn’t remember which restaurant won, and I couldn’t look it up because the president Schwarzenegger library is closed for the virus.

  9. Jussi, they only thing missing from the govenrments’, yes all of them, social distancing messages is the word “Comrade”.

  10. The Meissen Bison

    True, the landlords are so screwed ¦ But that makes who unhappy?

    Crikey, Tim, that’s an alexandrine, isn’t it? Anyhow, for every landlord that sheds a tear a new bright star is born in the firmament of Kapt. Kartoffel’s bile.

  11. 105,000 applications for Universal Credit yesterday. In one fucking day.

    Shite like Jizz would have done far worse but he hasn’t had the chance and won’t get blamed by the desperate and the hysterical, This time over a real threat– economic ruin.

    Blojo might as well be putting a pistol down the front of his pants and pulling the trigger.

  12. Hector Drummond–If you are out there please put up a link to your latest blog. I would but its yr blog and I don’t want to pre-empt you. If nothing in a few minutes I’ll put a link up anyway as it is very worth reading.

  13. Workers exploit the need for shops to have labour, suppliers exploit the need for shops to have something to sell, councils exploit the need for shops to have local services, governments exploit their need to have a nuclear deterrent and provide arts grants, but it is only those who exploit their need to have premises who are considered evil and for whom payment is optional in tough times.

  14. It makes me unhappy because a substantial amount of retail property is owned by pension funds.

  15. The public at large would have a lot more sympathy for the asset holding classes if they hadn’t had to bail them out, first the banks in 2008 (yet nary a jailed banker to be seen) and now the wider economy in 2020.

    BoJo the Clown may be the one on TV and in Number 10, but it won’t be him paying the bill for effectively paying half the countries GDP for the immediate future for something which is at best a bloody horrid flu season.

    As for the commercial property owners, bullshit like “upwards only rent reviews” and evicting tenants that are struggling and keeping properties unoccupied just so they don’t have to acknowledge the capital depreciation of the commercial property value might be seen as fair practice in their circles, but shit sticks and a bit of financial payback by commercial renters during this (admittedly largely manufactured) crisis seems more like Karma than Karl Marx.

  16. Surely Amazon etc. have been reducing the value of high street commercial property for some time, but landlords won’t reduce the rent at all before the lease is up and are stubbornly resisting reductions anywhere they can- can’t blame them.
    So what this is about is unsticking a very stuck part of the property market.

  17. Luckily Associated British Foods, who own Primark, have the grocery business to fall back. We are still able to buy sugar etc. And yes, well done for the Alexandrine spot, TMB, even if you have to ignore the clunking accent on “True”.

  18. This is not commieism. It’s just a sensible recognition that everyone is going to take a bath so an orderly rearrangement all the way up and down the food chain is prudent – bit like a CVA.

    The fact that hard cheese is, for some, felt with keener pleasure than it is for others is, as Mr Galt says, karma. Or perhaps missplaced glee. But it does not change the basic fact that without widespread and mutual recognition of what the Chicoms have done to us in the West we are only going to make this worse for ourselves (and we’re doing a pretty good job of that, as it is).

  19. I’ve given my tenant in the shop downstairs a month’s rent holiday, but I can’t keep that up forever. I became unemployed ten days ago, but I don’t qualify for benefits because of the shop downstairs which is assessed as having a deemed income – but the shop has had to be closed and there’s no income! Joined up government? Pah!

  20. A worldwide fatwa against the Chinese Communist Party would be a noble enterprise.

    70-100 Million murders, Uigher camps, social credit tyranny, prisoners/falun gong murdered and their organs sold and embalmed bodies of murdered Falun supplied to these fucking “Bodyworld” exhibitions in several cities inc London.

    More than enough reason to declare the CCP one of–if not THE -worst evil organisation ever and to call for its extermination.

    Actual methods needs thought but economic pressure for sure. Get our needed industries OUT of the shithole to start.

  21. My local council has switched our garbage collections to fortnightly because the contractor has more guys off sick than usual. I doubt any bookie will offer odds on when, (or whether), collections will return to weekly.

    Incidentally, I found this out by looking out of my window yesterday, noticing that the bins had not been collected and looking on the council website. Every bank, building society, retailer and spammer who has one of my e-mail addys or mobile number has sent me an e-mail and/or text explaining the steps they’re taking to help me in this time of crisis. My local council… Nada.

    My you, It’s all a waste of pixels anyway but as my dear old mum used to say, “It’s the thought that counts.”

  22. ”I thought all restaurants became Taco Bell after the franchise wars?”

    In some countries the soundtrack was overdubbed to change this to Pizza Hut, as Taco Bell didn’t have a high profile in Europe at that time. The images of the logo were altered too.

  23. @ Jussi I will always take the side of a landlord over a complaining and moaning tenant.

    Well, that makes two of us. Landlords are providing a service, just the same as anyone else in the service sector. The small guys might have a few properties that are mortgaged and provide an income in just the same way as any other business generates an income for the person who put their time, effort and money into it.

  24. “My local council… Nada.”

    Instructive, isn’t it?

    While we’re on the subject, more or less, this whole ‘protect the NHS’ thing is weird. I appreciate it’ll be explained that the reasoning is, flatten the curve to allow the NHS to do its job. But actually, it sounds like the catechism to Nigel Lawson’s remark about it being our national religion.

  25. Every bank, building society, retailer and spammer

    Same here though with one exception – the GP practice texted to say that if I had symptoms to ring 111 and not to call them. The NHS has a solid carapace when it comes to protecting itself from me.

    Have none of the fawning coterie on the Kartoffel site enquired into his health?

  26. Incidentally, I found this out by looking out of my window yesterday, noticing that the bins had not been collected and looking on the council website. Every bank, building society, retailer and spammer who has one of my e-mail addys or mobile number has sent me an e-mail and/or text explaining the steps they’re taking to help me in this time of crisis. My local council… Nada.

    You’re lucky. This weeks junk mail was a single flyer from “Dignity Funeral Services” doing a buy one, get one free offer. Their PR mouthpiece claimed it was a mistimed leaflet on a pre-arranged campaign.

    Yeah. Right.

  27. I’d have a lot more sympathy for landlords if was actually their money at risk.

    @ Longrider The small guys might have a few properties that are mortgaged and provide an income in just the same way as any other business generates an income for the person who put their time, effort and money into it.

    No, that’s not how most businesses operate. Most businesses, the bulk of the capital comes from the owners of the business, who carry the risk. With property, the owners are working with a much smaller capital base shored up by borrowing. So the risk ends up with the lenders. Since the lenders are largely the banks, ultimately the risk ends up on the taxpayers because the government will bail out the banking system.

  28. Since the lenders are largely the banks, ultimately the risk ends up on the taxpayers because the government will bail out the banking system.

    But this is the same problem as always. Those businesses which have close connections to the government money cannons end up being able to privatise their profits and socialise their losses and everybody else gets screwed and has to pick up the tab.

  29. @BiS – Small businesses frequently borrow to set themselves up. It is the owner who then puts in time, effort and money to make that business work and repay the capital borrowed (been there, done that, got the T shirt). In the case of landlords, that borrowing is secured, so the banks have some fall back should the business fold.

    The little guy I know of doing this has around half a dozen properties. As he is a builder, he is the one doing the maintenance and renovation. He is the one who makes the business work, yet he is vilified for trying to earn a living by providing a service? Fuck off already. He’s just a bloke making a crust, same as the rest of us.

  30. Longrider, my experience is that if you need to borrow to set-up in the first place, the bank will want a personal guarantee: they don’t lend money to businesses which do not yet have income.

  31. @Edward Lud Which will usually involve property. In my case, the business was so small, that my borrowing was confined to vehicles, which were not secured on anything other than themselves.

  32. If commercial real estate landlords didn’t use borrowing, everyone’s rent would be much much higher.

  33. John Galt


    As for the commercial property owners, bullshit like “upwards only rent reviews” and evicting tenants that are struggling and keeping properties unoccupied just so they don’t have to acknowledge the capital depreciation of the commercial property value…..”

    Have you been asleep the last twenty years? Upward only rent reviews are as rare as hen’s teeth nowadays and landlords would rather have a manky charity in a shop than leave it empty: there is such a thing as empty property business rates.

    We built the properties our retail tenants occupy. Built them and maintain the estate. Tenants are perfectly capable of building and maintaining their own premises if having a landlord is akin to helotry, and plenty do, but we must be providing something if so many want what we provide.

    Reading some of the comments here, I feel like I have stumbled into the Junior Bolshevik League.

  34. According to the British Property Federation, about 45% of UK commercial real estate is owned by occupiers.

    Around 9% is owned direct by pensions and insurance schemes, or rather their beneficiaries ie you.
    Around 9% is owned by UK collective investment schemes, which are largely invested in by pensions and insurance schemes, on behalf of their beneficiaries ie you.
    Around 8% is owned by UK REITs and listed propcos, whose shareholder register is largely made up of pensions and insurance schemes, or rather their beneficiaries ie you.
    Nearly 16% is owned by foreign entities. However the bulk of these are pension, insurance or sovereign funds buying on behalf of their beneficiaries ie people like you, only foreign.
    Around 5% is owned by charities, big estates and ‘other’.

    Only 8% is owned by private landlords – individuals or companies.

    So most of the evil landlords people are moaning about are investing on behalf of them, or someone like them.

  35. landlords would rather have a manky charity in a shop than leave it empty
    True, but said charity shop (if it’s a ‘manky’ one and not one of the big names) will probably be on a lengthy ‘rent holiday’, so the nominal rent isn’t reduced (it’s just not paid). When the ‘holiday’ ends, the charity will leave and another one takes it place. How long this game of musical chairs can continue before reality bites, I’m not sure – but it won’t be forever.

  36. @Ecks
    Yes the dole system was swamped so the govt announced the new streamlined scheme, but the online portal to claim it won’t be available until April 6th and money won’t be received until 10 days after, so mid April at the earliest. Given goby ability to deliver projects there is a chance this is all over before anyone receives a payment

  37. there is such a thing as empty property business rates
    Indeed, and why companies such as this http://www.crusader-epra.com/
    are knowingly conniving with landlords to set up bogus tenants who go bust, and then the clock re-sets for a 3 months exemption, and then another bogus tenant is moved in.
    If you search on Companies House for Terence Ball, the first two pages of results are just him ( almost ) setting up and folding limited companies leaving unpaid rates bills.
    I can name a few others doing this – and it’s legal.

  38. @Ecks

    And the 93% of dickheads now endorsing this crap will be baying for BoJo’s blood

    Spot on. It will be be too much/not enough, too late/too early. UK MSM attacking BoJo and Trump, but silence on their hero EU, Macron, Merkel etc – I wonder why?

    Fuhrer Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission was attacking EU states today for putting their own interests first. After this another EU power grab on the cards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *