EMBATTLED style retailer New Look is about to shut as many as 100 shops within the UK as a part of a radical turnaround plan to chop prices and enhance profitability.
It contains the 60 retailers already marked for closure underneath an organization voluntary association permitted in March.
However govt chairman Alistair McGeorge mentioned the quantity which will certainly shut after negotiations with landlords is now at 85, and discussions are ongoing relating to an extra 13 shops.
Among the many buildings New Look is already set to vacate is Fountain Home in Belfast’s Donegall Place, which Primark will occupy from subsequent spring.
New Look at the moment has 19 shops in Northern Eire, and others are more likely to shut as a part of this newest downsizing.
The announcement got here as the corporate posted an underlying working revenue of £22.2 million for the primary half, in comparison with a lack of £10.Four million in the identical interval final yr.
However income declined by 4.2 per cent to £656.9 million. Like-for-like gross sales underneath the New Look model dropped by 3.7 per cent, a slower fee than final yr’s 8.6 per cent drop.
The high-street mainstay mentioned the slide in gross sales was consistent with its plan to enhance profitability with extra full-price gross sales.
Mr McGeorge mentioned the primary a part of the restoration was going effectively, however that he want to “transfer sooner”.
“We’re not trying to defend our place, we’re trying to assault,” he mentioned.
Along with the restructuring of its UK base, New Look final month introduced its choice to exit its retail enterprise in China, the place it has 148 shops.
Annualised value financial savings of £70 million have now been achieved, with one other £Eight million to be added.
As a part of the turnaround, New Look has additionally improved its UK market share and ramped up on-line operations, rising click on and gather gross sales by 41 per cent within the first half.
Mr McGeorge warned that situations on the excessive road stay difficult.
“We proceed to work arduous to speed up our progress, however we face into vital headwinds and uncertainties, together with Brexit,” he mentioned.
“Clearly the broader retail setting stays difficult and we aren’t anticipating that to alter anytime quickly. Nevertheless, we’re heading in the right direction and proceed to drive additional efficiencies throughout the enterprise.
“As we glance to the second half, our focus will likely be to proceed to enhance our monetary and operational stability and additional capitalise on our model power to place us effectively for the longer term.”