Malls owner Capital & Regional looks to discounters to ease retail flop pain

Joanna Bourke
Capital & Regional owns shopping centres in areas such as Walthamstow

Capital & Regional on Thursday said bargain-hunting Londoners flocking to discount stores at its shopping centres will help ease the looming pain from high-profile retail collapses.

The owner of sites in Wood Green and Walthamstow said it counts Toys R Us, Maplin and New Look as tenants across its seven wholly-owned centres.

Those retailers have either failed or agreed restructures since the end of February.

Chief executive Lawrence Hutchings said the firm is “fully aware that recent occupier failures present some challenges to short-term results”. However, he said his centres “cater to the needs” of cost-savvy shoppers who will keep footfall high despite potential store closures.

The firm, which leases space to budget retailers such as Lidl and Primark, saw rental income rise 2.4% to £51.6 million last year.

Occupancy improved to 97.3%, and the firm is upping its total dividend for 2017 by 7.4% to 3.64p.

Hutchings said he is hoping for even more customers in east London. C&R is waiting to get final planning consent for 450 flats to be built as part of a major extension at its Walthamstow site.