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Case Study: Argos, Gracechurch Shopping Centre, Sutton Coldfield

Argos appointed Gilbert Evans to prepare Expert Evidence and pursue the case to court if lease renewal negotiations of its 13,000 sq ft shop in Sutton Coldfield’s prime retailing area, Gracechurch Shopping Centre, could not be agreed.

Previous rental was set at £250,000 per annum in June 2005 and it was Gilbert Evans’ opinion that the rental at renewal should be closer to £165,000 per annum.

Our argument: The property was of an irregular shape with the ‘characteristics’ of the property being such that a limited degree of weight should be attached to open market lettings as they were neither truly comparable nor relevant. It was our contention that rental values in the shopping centre had declined dramatically since the current passing was set over 10 years earlier.

Result: We were able to establish, as a consequence of our market knowledge, detailed research and determination to comprehensively analyse the town’s retail offer, the true retail hierarchy and identify the true impact that market realities were having on rental values in the town.

Through the force of our argument and assertive negotiations we persuaded the landlord’s agent that rental values in the relevant section of The Parade had fallen by over 30% to secure a £80,000 pa rental saving for the client, without resorting to court and substantial legal costs.