Intu Derby

Today landlords are supposed to receive quarterly rents to cover the three months to September, however several businesses including Boots are refusing to pay die to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Landlords are bracing to receive as little as 20% of the rent due, with many believing shops would have the money to pay but are choosing to take advantage of the eviction ban in place until September (The Telegraph). Even with most retailers now open for business, landlords are bracing to receive significant less rent than they are due (BBC).

Struggling shopping centre owner Intu was battling with soaring debt from before the crisis, which has done nothing but accentuate its problems. Intu has asked its lenders to agree to a standstill on their loan terms ahead of key covenant tests tied to the midsummer quarter day and property values, the only way it will survive a further blow to rent money (The Financial Times). Intu has warned it risks falling into administration unless a deal with its lenders can be agreed, with many UK’s shopping centres set to close if their owner collapses (The Times £).

The Telegraph argues that a “zombified” Intu - crashing under billions of debt - is not worth saving. “The shopping mall owner is labouring under a £4.5bn debt pile – and knights in shining armour are in scarce supply,” writes Ben Marlow (The Telegraph).

The Guardian isn’t more forgiving, arguing that Intu “could have saved itself years ago”, and it cannot blame the corornavirus crisis for its troubles (The Guardian).

Convenience stores took £1.6bn of sales through their tills in the month to June 14, with transactions rising 69% year-on-year as shoppers chose to remain local during lockdown (The Telegraph). Warm weather and the easing of lockdown restrictions boosted sales of barbecue and picnic items, with supermarkets and convenience stores enjoying a further sales boost in the past four weeks, according to Kantar (Sky News).

As lockdown restrictions began to ease last month, some shopper habits returned to normal such as buying picnic products to meet with ‘one’ other household in the park. However, certain habits have chanced forever, writes The Telegraph, and “convenience stores and corner shops look set to be among the long-term beneficiaries” (The Telegraph).

The CMA is about to reissue a provisional green light for Amazon to acquire a big stake in Deliveroo - but on a different basis to that which it gave just two months ago, according to Sky News. In April, the regulator said it would approve the deal due to the coronavirus crisis and its effects on Deliveroo’s trading and possible failure. Now however, the decision is based on the fact that the stake would allow Amazon a member on the board but, would not entail superior voting rights to any other shareholder (Sky News).

AG Barr has received notice of termination from energy drink brand Rockstar for their sales and distribution agreement, months after Rockstar was acquired by PepsiCo (The Times £).

Pubs and restaurants have been given the green light to reopen from 4 July, with the two metre social distancing rule reduced to one to allow more customers into the shop (Sky News).

Poundland-owner Pepco has announced it will push ahead with some of its panned store openings for the year - in southern and central Europe -  despite the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on profits. CEO Andy Bond said the group was performing well and there was no reason to delay openings, especially as discounters generally prosper after a crisis (The Financial Times £).