The historic Croydon department store, Allders, is in negotiations with its landlords and the local council over its £2m a year rent and rates bill as the next quarter day approaches. The half a million square foot store has seen sales fall since last year’s summer riots and a general fall in consumer spending. A rent reduction has already been agreed of £2 a square foot but it is understood that Allders is seeking a rent and rates payment holiday. This implies some quite serious cashflow issues and it may be that the business will have to go into administration if no deal is struck.
A spokesman for the landlord said: “We have been, and remain, supportive of Allders and seek an outcome that works for all stakeholders concerned. We are in discussion with Allders and are exploring the options available to them.”
Harold Tillman, the retail entrepreneur, has seen his investments suffer in recent years. Jaeger was sold just above its debt level and Aquascutum has been put into administration. However, most of the businesses he has bought have been struggling.
Earlier this year Tillman restructured his ownership of the store by reducing his stake to 35% while retail restructuring expert Hilco took a 35% stake and Royal Bank of Scotland's subsidiary West Register took a 30% equity slice.
The department store is currently up for sale for around £50m, as it plays an important role in the proposed redevelopment of the adjacent Whitgift Centre.