Neil’s great-grandmother was out up the town this afternoon and popped into Clarks for some corn-pads, a hard skin scraper and a new inner tube for the rear offside tyre of her mobility scooter when she overheard news that the ... ‘traditional’ shoe chain and its advisers are meeting with landlords this week to discuss a restructuring that would see it switch to a 'turnover rent' model for future rent payments.
We asked her if she was sure about what she heard, due to her being more ‘mutton’ than a 17 year old sheep, but she insisted that the words she heard rang a bell with her, as she needs an electronic hoist to enable her to turnover in bed these days. How we smiled.
If the talks go well the deal would then need to be approved by a CVA and would pave the way for Clarks to receive a cash injection of more than £100 million from LionRock Capital, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm who must be mistaking ‘Clarks’ for ‘Any Other Shoe Shop’.
However, if all the above does happen it will entail the founding Clark family, who established the business in Somerset in 1825, relinquishing majority ownership of the company for the first time. It will be a particularly notable moment, as1825 is the last time the Clarks’ fashion shoe range was subject to a refresh and there will be many a great gran who will carefully raise an eyebrow in discontent over that.