Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Wealth
Living

Landlords Staring Into Retail Abyss Need More Than a Vaccine

  • Debenhams, Arcadia collapses cap horror year for mall owners
  • Pandemic hastens shift to e-commerce already underway
Debenhams Plc flagship department store, closed during lockdown, on Oxford Street, London.

Debenhams Plc flagship department store, closed during lockdown, on Oxford Street, London.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Updated on

U.K. retail landlords are facing a hard reality: the rapid approval of a vaccine has come too late for thousands of their stores.

The collapse of department store chain Debenhams Plc and Philip Green’s Arcadia Group this week caps an unremittingly brutal year for the owners of brick and mortar stores. The demise of these retailers alone threatens 16.6 million square feet (1.5 million square meters) of real estate, according to data compiled by Radius Data Exchange.