‘Zero rent’: Adairs shutters, nearly 2000 staff stood down

Mr Ronon said while there has been no agreement made with shopping mall owners, he had already advised them Adairs would not be paying rent if its doors shut.

“We have spoken to every landlord that we work with over the past two weeks and we have advised them that if we closed stores via our own call today, or there was a government shut down, the rent would go to zero,” he told analysts.

“We will continue to work with those guys in a go forward place. They all understand we will be contributing zero rent. I can’t stand there and say there is general agreement but they are aware we will not be paying rent while the stores are closed.”

“We are also in conversations with our landlord of our DCs [distribution centres] in this period,” he said.

“We were not looking for zero rent. But if online is shut down, we would not incur those cost of those facilities and we would look to cut rent in the event those DCs are not accessed.”

Mr Ronon said the group has been talking to its lenders in the past weeks, and he does not have any concerns about their support for the business.

He added that cost of doing business and working capital will be tightly managed to preserve cash.

“Every operating line will be reviewed during this period,” he said.

The company currently has cash on hand of $36 million, net debt of $48 million and access to further undrawn debt facilities of $12 million.

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