Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Retail Report -

City cen­tre shop land­lords are hav­ing to of­fer more flex­i­ble ar­range­ments with their ten­ants to help keep them in busi­ness.

One of the big­gest in Can­ter­bury is the Dean and Chap­ter, which owns 62 largely in­de­pen­dent shops in Bur­gate, Sun Street and Palace Street

Its es­tate man­ager, Natalie Beldin, says the or­gan­i­sa­tion is tak­ing a prag­matic ap­proach with ten­ants in view of the grow­ing chal­lenges in the re­tail sec­tor.

“A lot of our port­fo­lio is in re­tail and we are hav­ing to be more flex­i­ble with our ap­proach to ten­ants’ rents and leases be­cause no one wants to see empty shops,” she said.

“Of course, there is only so much we can do and we have to weigh up the al­ter­na­tive of the shop stand­ing empty and not bring­ing in any in­come.

“But there has been a lot of uncer­tainty in the re­tail sec­tor right now and the next few months will be very telling.”

Mrs Beldin says that of the 62 premises, only five are un­let and of those, works are be­ing un­der­taken to three build­ings.

One of them is the for­mer Noa Noa fash­ion store, which Mrs Beldin says is be­ing di­vided into smaller units.

The gov­ern­ment is also rais­ing the thresh­old at which small busi­nesses will have to start pay­ing busi­ness rates, which Mrs Beldin says will help take some of the pres­sure off them.

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