New Look may shut 60 stores putting 980 jobs at risk


Struggling retailer is the latest victim to difficult conditions on the high street

Struggling retailer New Look has become the latest victim to difficult conditions on the high street and has announced that it is aiming to cut 980 jobs and close 60 stores out of its 593 stores in the UK.

The retailer will cut rents and revise lease terms on a further 393 outlets.

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.”

He said the company had held “constructive discussions with our key landlords and strategic partners” ahead of the CVA proposal.

Daniel Butters, a partner at Deloitte, said that the CVA “will provide a stable platform upon which management’s turnaround plan can be delivered”.

He added that the retail trading environment in the UK “remains extremely challenging, driven by weaker consumer confidence, the implications of Brexit and competition from online channels”.

The retailer is proposing a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to creditors, which would allow it to bring down its rents and revise the terms on leases agreed with landlords. It has blamed a “difficult retail environment” for its CVA

New Look has asked its creditors to approve the proposal by March 21 and its UK stores will remain open until then.