980 jobs at risk as New Looks plans to shut 60 stores

Up to 980 jobs are being axed at New Look under plans to shut 60 stores and cut rent on nearly 400 shops as part of a rescue deal, the fashion retailer has said.

The Company is instigating a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and seeking approval from creditors on a plan to improve the operational performance of the Company.

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The store has now identified 60 out of its 593 stores that face closure, as well as six other sites which are sub-let to third parties.

The proposal also includes a reduction in rental costs and revised lease terms across 393 stores.

Aberdeen - Bon Accord; Edinburgh - Cameron Toll, Craigleith and Ocean Terminal; Gateshead - Team Valley; North Shields; Glasgow - Buchanan Street and Newton Mearns; Doncaster Mens; Leeds - The Core Shopping Centre; London - Oxford Circus; Rugby; Wigan Mens; and Peterborough - Bridge Street are some of the expected closures.

The fashion retailer has credited rental costs amid challenged trading performance and a difficult retail environment for the impending closures.

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Alistair McGeorge, Executive Chairman of New Look, said: “Given our challenged trading performance and over-rented UK store estate, we are having to take tough but necessary actions to reduce our fixed cost base and restore long-term profitability.

“We have held constructive discussions with our key landlords and strategic partners and will now seek creditor approval on our CVA proposal. A priority for us is to keep all potentially affected colleagues informed during this difficult time.”

New Look currently employs 15,300 people across the UK and the company have said that all efforts will be made to redeploy staff where possible.

Challenging conditions

Daniel Butters, Partner at Deloitte, added: “The retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging, driven by weaker consumer confidence, the implications of Brexit and competition from online channels.

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“New Look is an iconic brand on the high street and the CVA will provide a stable platform upon which Management’s turnaround plan can be delivered. We have fully engaged with the British Property Federation and its members and their views are reflected in what we believe is a fair proposal to restructure the property obligations of the Company.

“It is important to stress that no stores will close on day one, and employees, suppliers and business rates will continue to be paid on time and in full.”

New Look stores identified for potential closure under the CVA proposal are:

Aberdeen - Bon Accord; Beckton; Bolton Mens; Borehamwood; Brynmawr; Burton Mens; Cameron Toll; Cardiff - Queen Arcade; Cheshunt; Clevedon; Craigleith; Doncaster Mens; Dundee – Wellgate; Exeter Mens; Fleet; Gateshead - Team Valley; Glasgow - Buchanan Street Mens; Gorleston; Hanley Mens - Intu Potteries; Hounslow Mens; Hull – Whitefriargate; Keynsham; Kingswood; Leeds - The Core Shopping Centre; Leicester – Haymarket; London - Marble Arch; London - Moorgate/ London Wall; London - Oxford Circus; Maidenhead; Maidstone Mens; Merry Hill Mens; Metro Centre – Mens; Monmouth; Newport Mens; Newton Mearns; North Shields; Nottingham Mens; Ocean Terminal; Peterborough Bridge Street; Pontypool; Portswood; Ramsgate; Reading - Broad Street; Reading Oracle Mens; Rhyl; Romford Mens; Rugby; Shrewsbury Mens; Sidmouth; Stockport – Merseyway; Stockton-on-Tees; Stratford Upon Avon -Bridge Street; Thornaby; Tonypandy; Torquay - Union Street; Tredegar; Troon; Wallsend; Weston Favell; Wigan Mens.

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