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British retailer Next puts its three warehouses up for sale

UK retailer Next is seeking buyers for its headquarters and three warehouses as it tries to raise 10 million pounds after the temporary closures of its stores and website.

The Guardian reported that the company has appointed Savills, the property agent, to find a buyer for its head office in Leicester and another agent, Acre, to oversee the disposal of three warehouses, which would all then be leased back.

next-uk

The retailer informed last month that it could potentially raise up to £100m through the sale and leaseback of properties including warehouses as part of a mitigation strategy to shore up its balance sheet against the effects a fall in trade.

The retailer has slashed investment plans by £45m and suspended its share buyback scheme as it hoards cash under phase one of its plan to try to survive the coronavirus crisis.

Chief Executive Lord Wolfson said this would “secure the cash resources of the business” for the future.

“We have modelled the effects of differing levels of sales declines along with all the measures we can take to ensure that the company remains within its bond and bank facilities,” Lord Wolfson added.

“Our industry is facing a crisis that is unprecedented in living memory, but we believe our balance sheet and margins mean that we can weather the storm.

They think the crisis would pass at some point. At that time it will be the work we do to move the business forward that will determine our future success.

Last month Next said it was seeking rent cuts of about 40% on 53 stores with leases due for renewal in the year ahead and it expected to permanently close a net 12 stores and relocate five.

It said in the past year it had secured rent cuts averaging 30% across 44 stores where it renewed leases, and closed nine stores.

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