Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Major landlords misbehaving with small business retailers through Covid

Mark Fletcher
July 30th, 2020 · No Comments

Here we are, four and a half months into Covid and we have major Australian landlords misbehaving in their dealings with small business retailers.

  • One national landlord has advised tenants in some locations that they will now charge additional fees if they decide to open their shops on a Sunday. This follows years of Sunday trading without a cost being applied.
  • One national landlord is yet to agree any rent relief to small business retailers in at least 2 of their centres.
  • Several national landlords have applied the maximum increase in rent even though traffic in their centres is way down due to Covid.
  • Several national landlords are continuing to bring in major discount outpost operators, which take business from permanent small business tenants, despite foot traffic =in the centres being down by more than 50%.

Years ago, shopping centre tenancies were sought-after. Today, many of those tenancies are in serious trouble because of Covid. Centre traffic is down and landlord dealings are challenging.

Australians have demonstrated a clear preference for the high street over the last four months. This makes high street retail more valuable. I think it is a reason we are seeing more high street newsagency businesses sold with shopping centre businesses less so.

Unless shopping centre landlords considerably reduce the occupancy cost and address some of their harmful practices, we will see fewer indie small business retail outlets.

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Category: Ethics · Social responsibility

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