Theo Paphitis, the retail magnate and former Dragons’ Den star, is in urgent talks with landlords of his lingerie chain Boux Avenue, claiming his rivals enjoy better rent rates.
The business tycoon, whose retail empire also owns Ryman and Robert Dyas, said he was leaving “no stone unturned” as he attempts to slash rents for 30 Boux stores and negotiate the “most challenging retail environment” in memory.
Paphitis said Boux was “still paying significantly above average” rents as many rivals have been able to cut their rent bills through controversial company voluntary arrangement rescue deals.
The Theo Paphitis Retail Group declined to comment on whether this process would look at potential store closures.
It comes after annual figures for 2018-19 and the recent Christmas season highlighted weak trading at Boux, which is offsetting better performances at Robert Dyas and Ryman.
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Paphitis said: "Our group has delivered a resilient performance in what has been the most challenging retail environment we have ever experienced, underpinned by consumer uncertainty and declines in footfall."
Figures for the year to 30 March revealed growing sales and profits for both Robert Dyas and Ryman, but figures were not released for Boux Avenue. Paphitis said accounts for Boux will be published after the review.