Sales at stores in London fell by an average of 75% in the year to March, according to an earnings release on Thursday by Crown Estate, a UK semi-private conglomerate.
“Our base view at the moment is we expect it to get worse before it gets better,” said Dan Labbad, Crown's chief executive. He said: “As businesses try to get back on their feet, a lot is going to depend on footfall and physical spend versus online spend.”
Crown, which also owns shopping centres and shops in the UK, said its overall revenue profit fell 21.9 percent to £ 269.3 m.
Despite rapid vaccination of the pandemic in the UK, it has not slowed down due to the Delta variant. This prompted the government to delay the removal of the remaining sequestration restrictions and extend the ban on commercial property evictions for unpaid rents until next March, a decision that drew a backlash from landlords.
Labbad said Crown was currently reviewing its retail portfolio and could advance some sales and transformation projects.
The firm's total portfolio is worth more than £ 14 billion, according to the statement.