Hammerson to chase rent arrears as mall collections, footfall improve
Life’s going to get tougher for Hammerson retail tenants still in rent arrears. While the UK-based commercial property giant said it has seen a “significant” improvement in collection rates, it now remains “focused on collecting arrears”.
It warned Wednesday: “We do not anticipate granting future concessions and all avenues to collect rents due are being pursued”.
The message came as the owner/operator of the Bullring & Grand Central malls in Birmingham and the Bicester Village Designer Outlet Centre in Oxfordshire, said rent collection for the fourth-quarter improved and footfall across all territories continues to recover.
Rent collection rates continue to rise with 70% of the £41 million outstanding collected for Q4 to date, “significantly ahead of any quarter since Q1 2020 at the same point in time”. At the same point a year earlier, it had collected just 41% of the Q4 rent due.
As for the £205 million demanded in the year to date, 78% has been collected, while collections for 2020 stand at 94%.
As with Q3, "the UK continues to be the strongest performer”, with 74% of rent collected, while Ireland stands at 71% and France at 65%.
And footfall to its venues? Although this now stands at only around 15-20% below 2019 levels, it noted some UK centres “exceeded 2019 comparable levels around the key August bank holiday weekend and have continued to perform strongly since”. In the third quarter it had been 20-30% below 2019 levels.
It added: “The trend of high conversion rates and larger basket sizes has continued, with UK sales in our destinations in line with 2019 in August and September”.
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