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Jigsaw: Landlords, Can You See What It Is Yet?

Posted on Sep 04, 2020. by NTI

Tracee was famously once photographed not wearing the Jigsaw relaxed gathered waist culotte, opting instead for Billy's ripped jeans and sections of a bicycle chain, so when the NTI newsroom recently led with a story about the fashion chain curiously named after a light portable electric saw with a vertically reciprocating blade used especially for cutting curves, she failed to spot its significance.

Landlords are not terribly good at playing the TV game show where sections of a picture are revealed on screen and they have to guess the message as it is gradually uncovered, so although they have the 'P' 'A' 'I' and a picture of a vice with something soft being crushed in it, they still haven't twigged. There will be a further clue for them today, as the CVA of Jigsaw which will see the closure of a quarter of its shops and a switch to turnover-linked rent has been approved by its creditors.

The group, which has 74 stores and employs 900 people in Britain, is the latest struggling retailer to pursue a CVA to address the dramatic slump in shop sales since the start of the pan ... blah, blah, blah. The irony will be lost on landlords that this particular saw with a vertically reciprocating blade has not cut curves around them, rather heading straight through the centre of their rents and onto their hearts. Jigsaw wants 41 shops to switch to turnover-based rent, part of a growing trend. Those of you who subscribe to the up-to-the-minute and all-free news service from NTI know how the story ends, as rival brands such as All Saints and New Look have similarly led the charge towards turnover-linked rents. At least 200 Jigsaw jobs will be made redundant from the 19 store closures, which includes outlets in Westfield London, Bluewater in Kent, Manchester and Birmingham. Getting the picture?

Jigsaw are working with advisors at Cavendish and KPMG to undertake this strategic review of the business and for their conversations with their landlords, which went rather well, it seems, but not with their landlords who still won't get the picture even if it is stapled to their inner eyelids. A Jigsaw spokesperson said late yesterday (Thursday 3 September), “The Arrangement puts the company on solid footing moving forwards, and allows us to execute our turnaround strategy.” A spokesperson for the landlords couldn't be heard properly against a background of sobbing and the renting of garments.

The Duchess of Cambridge couldn't be drawn upon to make a statement as she sported a cotton poplin black striped skirt from the next fashion retailer lining up to beat the living daylights out of their landlords.

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