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Shoe firm Dune set for talks with landlords as it seeks to cut costs

Joanna Bourke
·2-min read
 (DUNE handout)
(DUNE handout)

Footwear chain Dune Group is set to engage in fresh talks with landlords as it seeks to cut costs and ride out the virus crisis, it has emerged.

The footwear and accessories chain, which was founded in London in 1992, is among firms that had to shut UK shops at various points for Covid-19 lockdowns last year. A national lockdown is currently in place.

The privately owned firm has appointed advisers from KPMG to help it review strategic options that could lead to a restructuring process called a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), according to Sky News. KPMG declined to comment.

The CVA model is a way of seeking rent cuts, changes to leases, or closures.

Dune has 43 standalone stores and around 175 concessions.

The report pointed to insiders, who said a CVA was not certain to be launched, and would depend on talks with landlords about a possible switch to a turnover-based rent model.

Turnover-based rents are linked to how sales perform. Typically, the model allows tenants to reduce rents when trading is hard, and then give landlords more when times are better.

Daniel Rubin, founder and chief executive of Dune Group, said: “The trading environment continues to be extremely tough, and like many other high street retailers, we are reviewing all aspects of our business to ensure we’re in the best position possible to navigate our way through this difficult period.”

He added: “We’ve had constructive dialogue with our landlords since the start of the pandemic, but we now need to engage with them further if we are to safeguard our future. To this end, we have appointed KPMG to review options specifically in relation to our property portfolio, and to assist us with our negotiations with stakeholders as we seek to manage our business through the months ahead.”

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