Retail

Building a new environment for city and county

Barry Sankey ponders the ambitious plans for revamping Coventry’s retail environment to make it worthy of its national standing as the country’s 10th biggest city. A number of developments are either in the pipeline or underway including the impressive Friargate scheme, the centrepiece of which will be a boulevard linking the rail station to Greyfriars Green in the city centre.

Clarity and guidance on lease guarantees

K/S Victoria Street v House of Fraser (Stores Management) Ltd and others [2011] (the ‘Victoria case’), decided in the Court of Appeal in July 2011, was heralded as the long awaited case to bring certainty to an uncertain area of landlord and tenant law. In our view, the Victoria case has achieved this by determining the validity of agreements that require an outgoing tenant’s guarantor to guarantee the performance of the incoming tenant. Perhaps of more significance, is the opinion of the Master of the Rolls on a workable alternative.

Consumer protection - website terms

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has recently written to 62 major retailers informing them that they need to change their website terms and conditions in order to avoid infringing consumer protection laws in the run up to Christmas. The OFT’s action followed its survey of 156 online retailers’ websites to check compliance with consumer protection laws.

Equality for disabled customers

The fact that the UK is hosting the Paralympics in September this year gives an ideal opportunity for retailers to reflect on whether or not they are compliant with both the Disability Discrimination Act and the Equality Act. As far as the law is concerned, retailers are required to make reasonable adjustments so that disabled people can make full use of the services and goods on offer. However, the law does not define what is ‘reasonable’, leaving retailers to interpret it as best they can in the context of their own premises.

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