Sunday 22 October 2017

Dundrum retailers clash with new owners Hammerson over trade levels

Dundrum (Stock picture)
Dundrum (Stock picture)
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Retailers in Dundrum Town Centre, the country's premier shopping centre, have clashed with its new owners Hammerson over alleged poor trading over Christmas.

At a fraught meeting between tenant representatives and management last week a number of retailers claimed that trade and footfall had been below expectations.

Many are blaming an increase in parking charges introduced last August after it was acquired by the UK fund. As a result, shorter visits for food shopping and prescriptions collections, for example, have fallen, it is claimed.

Sources told the Sunday Independent that anchor tenant Marks and Spencer was among those who had voiced dissatisfaction with Dundrum's Christmas performance. The retail giant said it would not comment on private meetings. Neither Hammerson, which owns the centre in a joint venture with Allianz, or Dundrum Town Centre would comment.

This dispute comes against a background of rent increases. Dundrum commands the country's third-highest rents after Grafton Street and Henry Street and some retailers said that they may seek rent decreases if they do not see a pick-up in their business.

Some 76pc of leases at the centre are subject to upward-only rent reviews. When the Hammerson deal was announced in July the fund said 16 rent reviews had completed with another 56 to be finalised within 12 to 18 months.

Retail Excellence Ireland chief executive David Fitzsimons said there were growing concerns among retailers over their relationship with the new owners of several centres - the majority of which are property funds.

Sunday Indo Business

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