Ian Guider: Retailers fear lockdown rent hit after Foot Locker ruling

The sportswear giant has the cash to go to court, but smaller businesses need a better mechanism for settling lease disputes, and the new Scarp rescue scheme falls short here

Foot Locker on Grafton Street: the retailer owes about €1 million to its landlord for the 253 days the store was unable to trade. Picture: Fergal Phillips

These are the most important couple of weeks of the year for the vast majority of retailers. Having been shut for months early in 2021, during the most severe period of the Covid-19 crisis, this really is their make-or-break period.

The early indications, from retail sales and card spending data, are that trading for some shops is ahead of 2019 levels. In the back of many retailers’ minds, however, is the nagging fear that landlords ...