Blaming the Covid-19 pandemic, Italian fashion house Valentino is suing its landlord, after being refused to break its lease early. The high-end store at the Fifth Avenue address in Manhattan was forced to close because of the virus outbreak. It says the pandemic has made it impossible to offer a high-end shopping experience. According to reports by AP, in a lawsuit filed Sunday, Valentino said it informed landlord Savitt Partners that it would vacate the store at the end of this year, nearly nine years before it could, but Savitt refused to end the lease.
The pandemic has sparked tension among retailers and landlords as many store-owners are not ready to waive off rents during the lockdown. According to reports, last month, mall owner Simon Property Group sued Gap for three months of unpaid rent that totalled nearly $66 million for 390 locations.
“Even in a post-pandemic New York City should such a day arrive, the social and economic landscapes have been radically altered in a way that has drastically, if not irreparably, hindered Valentino’s ability to conduct high-end retail business at the premises,” the company said in its lawsuit.
The reports said that the clothing store in New York City has opened post-lockdown but they have closed fitting rooms, urged shoppers to wear a mask and have placed hand sanitisers throughout their stores. Valentino’s store, which spans three floors, has other high-end neighbours, including Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana.
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