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New Look to close 85 stores with more than 100 at risk

By Huw Hughes

8 Nov 2018

New Look has announced that it will be shutting 85 of its stores across the country in a bid to improve its profitability, with as many as 120 at risk. In March, the UK retailer announced it would be closing 60 of its stores, but that number rose to 85 in an announcement on Tuesday. The future of a further 13 New Look stores is still being negotiated, while the fate of 26 New Look stores that are trading rent-free is unclear.

It is currently believed more than 1,000 people could lose their jobs as a result of the store closures.

Comparable sales at New Look have fallen 3.7 percent for the 26 weeks up until 22 September, an improvement on the 8.6 percent dip for the same period last year. Operating profits improved to 22.2 million pounds this year with a loss of 10.4 million pounds last year. The planned closures will leave the UK retailer with 508 stores.

“We continue to work hard to accelerate our progress, but we are facing into significant headwinds and uncertainties, including Brexit,” Alistair McGeorge, executive chairman of New Look, said in a statement. “Clearly the wider retail environment remains challenging and we are not expecting that to change anytime soon. However, we are on the right track and continue to drive further efficiencies across the business.”

The news comes hot on the heels of New Looks’ announcement earlier this month that it would be exiting China. The strategic review of New Look’s other international markets is continuing as part of the company’s turnaround strategy.

Photo credit: Newlook, Facebook