The Future of Leases: A lifeline for retailers?


A new leisure destination in Camden is being launched this year which will encompass some 580,000 square feet on the former site of Camden Lock Village.

What sets it apart from other developments is its target tenants, which will comprise start-ups and independents. This will be facilitated through the leasing scheme which will be based on turnover rents and shorter terms leases, meaning a lower capital outlay and greater flexibility for tenants. Food & beverage operators will also benefit from a baseline kitchen fit-out.

Many will note this is not a dissimilar structure to that of food halls. In food halls (not to be confused with food markets!) units take short-term leases based largely, if not entirely, on turnover rent. The idea behind this is the food hall operator not only shares the risk with its tenant units but is incentivised to work in partnership with them to create an attractive destination: higher footfall leads to higher turnover which benefits both parties. 

A growing awareness that the old dichotomy of "landlord v tenant" is no longer sustainable has led many to reassess the relationship. In sharing the risk which many operators need to take to - quite literally - set up shop, landlords are investing in new structures. These not only provide an attractive start up arena for new entrants to the market but also allow the landlord to keep the offering fresh and exciting with each turn of a unit. Today's fast paced world demands an equally fast paced offering. Could this new lease structure be the lifeline retailers need?

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“We recognise it is important to break down barriers for entrepreneurs, independents and artisans,” LabTech commercial director Tomer Bercoviz said. “That means sharing the risks, increasing the ease with which such businesses can take space, and supporting them as they grow. “In addition, our strategy enables us to support international brands looking to break into the UK market for the first time, providing them with a platform in the heart of Camden that will give them the opportunity to grow globally.”
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