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Published 11 November 2014
The run up to Christmas is the key trading period for most retailers in the UK. Landlords have over the years adopted a number of techniques to maximise footfall during this busy season. The most tried and tested of these is late night shopping, which sees retail centres opening their doors beyond their usual opening hours in order to attract shoppers who are not able to shop during normal trading hours.
Most leases granted in shopping centres and precincts will contain a positive covenant requiring the tenant to remain open and trade during hours set out in the lease. Generally a landlord can seek damages from a tenant if they breach this covenant.
If you intend to offer late night shopping, you should make sure your tenants' covenants to remain open contain sufficient flexibility to reflect this, or better still, contain wording requiring the tenants to open during such hours to be advised by the landlord.
It is, of course, unlikely a tenant would not wish to be involved in a late night shopping event, however a "keep open" clause, with sufficient flexibility to require the tenant to open late when required to do so by the landlord, will guard against closed doors on the night and the damage to the centre or precinct's reputation that may ensue.