Retailer seeks options

Schuh demands rent cuts on shops as KPMG advises on restructuring

Schuh: options

Footwear retailer Schuh has called in KPMG’s restructuring specialists to assess options for the Livingston-based retail chain.

The company, which has been regarded as an examplar in balancing online and bricks and mortar operations, is understood to have told landlords that its property costs are unsustainable.

It wants to reduce rents on some of its 132 stores in the UK and Ireland, but it is not thought to have any plans to close any, or seek a financial rescue, The Sunday Times reports.

A number of retailers have resorted to company voluntary arrangements in recent months as a means of resolving pressure on their balance sheets and reach deals with creditors.

Office, once owned by Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, is said to be considering the closure of up to half its 100 shops as leases expire.

In the year to February 2018, Schuh’s sales rose 9.8% to £308.5m after opening seven UK stores.

Dip in footfall

High street retailers in Scotland saw a 4.8% dip in footfall last month, according to the latest figures.

Footfall across all stores fell by 2.8% in July – a third successive month of decline – although retail parks bucked the trend with growth of 2.4%.

The town centre vacancy rate remained at 9.8%, with one in every 10 shops lying empty, slightly better than the overall UK figure of 10.3%, its highest level since January 2015.

The figures were published in the monthly Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and Springboard Monitor.

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