French shopping center giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has provided an update on its footfall, sales, and rent collections, while also introducing a plan called Reset to improve its financial position and execute its long-term strategy. The company reported that footfall recovery has shown promise, with most Continental European regions seeing footfall levels between 80% and 90% compared to last year. In the UK, footfall levels range from 60% to 70% and are gradually improving as people return to offices after the lockdown and summer holidays.

However, footfall in its US centers continues to lag behind Europe. This is due to indoor operation restrictions in certain Los Angeles shopping centers and lower mobility in major US cities compared to Continental Europe.

Despite the challenges, tenants’ sales in Continental Europe have been steadily improving. Sales were down 26% in June, -16% in July, and -12% in August, indicating a quicker recovery than footfall. It seems that consumers who do visit these shopping centers are more likely to spend compared to casual shoppers before the pandemic.

In France, which represents 27% of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s retail portfolio, preliminary August figures show a 5% decline in tenant sales, a significant improvement from the -29% in June and -15% in July. Additionally, 44% of French tenants reported August sales above 2019. However, tenant sales in the UK remain weaker, with a 70% drop in June, followed by -47% in July and -34% in August.

The company stated that progress is being made on rent and lease negotiations, with relief being provided to tenants on a case-by-case basis. However, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield emphasized that it is not considering permanent changes to lease structures or rent calculations.

Rent collection rates have also been steadily improving, with a collection rate of 72% in July, driven by Continental Europe (81%), and 70% in August (Continental Europe 81%).

In addition to these updates, the company unveiled its Reset plan, a €9 billion+ strategy aimed at strengthening its balance sheet and increasing financial flexibility to support its long-term strategy. The plan includes a fully underwritten €3.5 billion capital raise to reduce leverage immediately, €2 billion in cash savings, and €4 billion in disposals expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Overall, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield remains optimistic about its footfall recovery, improving sales, tenant negotiations, and rent collections. With the implementation of its Reset plan, the company aims to navigate the challenging retail landscape and position itself for long-term success.

For more information, visit:
– [Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s official website](
– [European Public Real Estate Association](