“Don’t stop till you get enough” – Jackie Newstead reviewed the changes in retailing over the last 40 years at this year’s Hogan Lovells 2012 real estate seminar. Jackie entertained the audience with reminisces of green shield stamps, brutalist architecture and flared trousers. Moving swiftly through the 70s, 80s and 90s to today’s trends, Jackie made the pertinent point of suggesting that the rise in consumerism and online shopping has provided the greatest challenge yet in the history of modern retail leases. With the advent of online shopping and click and collect, landlord’s lawyers have had to be increasingly ingenious in drafting turnover rent provisions, to capture all the different ways in which a tenant or store might account for its ales.
Additionally, the economic climate has pushed tenants toward requiring shorter lease terms without rent review. Will this trend result in the death of the rent review surveyor asked Jackie? The audience seemed quizzical. Most shopping centre leases no longer have the protection of security of tenure, so will the 1954 Act die, asked Jackie? Even more seemed to shift uncomfortably in their seats. The point remains however, that with an ever decreasing lease term, landlords and tenants alike are looking for quicker, more effective ways to complete deals. This, concluded Jackie, was the way of the future.