Image: AG Real Estate

AG Real Estate sends positive signal to its partners in the Retail segment

AG Real Estate, which owns and manages, among other properties, 7 shopping centres representing ca. 300,000 sq m of retail floorspace, is very sensitive to the difficulties faced by retailers. Aware of its role as a retail property manager, it is adopting a policy to support its Retail clients.

In order to show solidarity with retailers in its shopping centre who have had to close their shops upon being instructed to do so by the authorities as well as to facilitate their return to business activity, AG Real Estate is offering them new financial support measures in accordance with specific rules and depending on their line of business.

To help shopkeepers who had to close their shops and are faced with cashflow problems, now and as soon as they resume their activities, AG Real Estate will grant its partners who were solvent before the crisis a 50% rent gratuity for the estimated duration of the lockdown (mid-March to mid-May 2020). The payment of the balance of these rents for the same period can be spread out until the end of December 2020. Finally, as of the end of the lockdown, the rents for the year 2020 may be made in monthly instalments.

For retailers in the food & beverage sector, AG Real Estate is implementing additional measures to those mentioned above. The retailers concerned will not have to pay any rent during the estimated period of the lockdown, so they can focus on reactivating their business.

“We are all impacted by this unprecedented pandemic. Solidarity inevitably passes through a stage where everyone has to provide a concrete solution to their business partner. We have taken the initiative to support the sector and hope that the public authorities will welcome this approach by taking strong measures themselves to help the retail sector, in particular the hotel and catering industry. We are undeniably going through tough times as a lessor, but without retailers, there are no shoppers and therefore no more shopping centres. United we stand!” explains Amaury de Crombrugghe, Chief Investment Officer at AG Real Estate.

Sam Perneel, Head of Asset Management Retail, adds: “Many of our partners have contacted us in recent weeks to ask for our support. We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation where failure to respond would be a mistake. Hiding behind a lease is not a solution, especially if the lease is broken because the tenant is desperate or simply bankrupt. A letter summarizing the measures taken by AG Real Estate will be sent in the coming days to all our tenants who have had to close their shops on the instruction of the authorities. We sincerely hope that this will enable us to look to the future with equanimity.”

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