New Look could lose greater than 120 UK shops

New Look may lose more than 120 UK stores

Fashion blogger Sarah Benziane wears a New Look white lace off-shoulder top and New Look jeans in ParisPicture copyright
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Trend blogger Sarah Benziane wears New Look

Greater than 120 New Look shops could shut at it tries to revive its fortunes.

The style retailer mentioned in March it could shut 60 shops by way of a restructuring take care of its collectors, to chop prices and enhance profitability.

On Tuesday it mentioned that had risen to 85, as a result of landlords have been exercising their rights below the deal to take again shops and relet them.

Talks with landlords on 13 shops proceed, whereas the destiny of 26 outlets buying and selling rent-free is unclear.

Comparable gross sales at New Look, which will likely be left with about 500 UK shops following the closures, fell 3.7% for the 26 weeks to 22 September.

That was an enchancment on the 8.6% hunch for a similar interval final 12 months.

Regardless of falling gross sales, underlying working earnings improved to £22.2m in contrast with a lack of £10.4m final 12 months.

Government chairman Alistair McGeorge mentioned retailers continued to face “important headwinds and uncertainties, together with Brexit”.

“Clearly the broader retail surroundings stays difficult and we’re not anticipating that to alter anytime quickly. Nevertheless, we’re heading in the right direction and proceed to drive additional efficiencies throughout the enterprise,” he mentioned.

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New Look aimed to enhance profitability with extra full-price gross sales and an expanded on-line operation.

Financial savings of £70m had been achieved, and an additional £8m recognized, it added.

Of the 60 shops earmarked for closure, 24 have gone, the corporate has renegotiated rents on 10 and 26 stay open and are buying and selling lease free, no less than till after Christmas.

The present plans will go away the retailer with 508 shops.

Final month the chain mentioned it was bailing out of China, with different worldwide operations additionally below evaluation.

South African retail magnate Christo Wiese’s funding car Brait purchased 90% of New Look in 2015 for £780m from personal fairness corporations Apax and Permira.

The remaining stake was held by Tom Singh, who based New Look in 1969, and senior managers.

Apax and Permira deserted plans to drift the extremely indebted chain on the London inventory trade in 2010 because of market volatility within the wake of the monetary disaster.

Mr Wiese additionally controls Steinhoff, whose shares crashed in December 2017 following the revelation of accounting irregularities.

Steinhoff owns Poundland, Bensons for Beds and Harveys within the UK and 40 different native manufacturers in about 30 international locations.

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