First Choice is to halve the size of Holiday Hypermarket
stores or introduce in-store concessions to slash rocketing rental
costs across its retail business.

Rents for Hypermarkets, most of which are 10,000-12,000 sq ft,
have soared in the last five years as retail parks have attracted
more big-name retailers. The multiple claims it must act now to
keep its 38-strong network of Hypermarkets profitable.

First Choice retail trading director Cheryl Powell said:
“It’s not that they are unprofitable but we can halve the
rent in many cases. Many are in 25-year leases so it makes
sense.”

She added: “We were the first to roll out Hypermarkets and now
we’re on prime retail parks. The rents on some sites have
doubled in five years.”

The multiple is confident it can still achieve the same sales
volumes within stores sized 4,000-5,000 sq ft, where it is possible
to negotiate a deal with park landlords.

The Holiday Hypermarket in Kinnaird, Scotland, is the first to
be affected. It will be cut in size from 10,800 sq ft to 4,400 sq
ft by June.