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British Land finds takers for all of its ex-Focus stores

Property company British Land has today announced that all five of its stores previously leased by DIY retailer Focus are now either income producing or under offer.

The failed home & DIY retailer fell into administration earlier this year as the sector continued to struggle amid consumer caution and the decrease in big-ticket sales hit the company’s profits.

British Land maintains the stores as part of its company portfolio and has revealed that grocer Asda and home & DIY retailer B&Q have reoccupied the two remaining units.

This is a welcome development for both retailers and increases Asda’s acquisition of retail space previously owned by Focus, as the supermarket group acquired six stores from the chain in February this year.

Asda will open a 23,000 sq ft store at Woking’s Lion Retail Park, while B&Q has already moved into a standalone 25,500 sq ft unit in Malvern owned by Hercules Unit Trust.

Commenting on the news, Charles Maudsley, Head of Retail at British Land, said that the move highlighted the positive growth plans for certain sectors of the retail industry.

“We only had a relatively small exposure to Focus and the fact that all of the units are either income producing or under offer, at similar or higher rents, is a reflection of the prime nature of our portfolio and that there is still healthy retailer demand for the right quality of space,” he said.

Source : Gemma Taylor – Retail Gazette
www.retailgazette.co.uk/articles/41341-british-land-finds-takers-for-all-of-its-exfocus-stores

23 September 2011
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