New Look to close 60 stores and cut nearly 1,000 jobs across the UK

Business, Employment, UK News | Thu 22 Mar | Author – Business & Finance

The retail company, New Look, says it will close 60 of its stores across the UK and will begin the process in the next six-to-twelve months.

In total, 980 staff are said to lose their jobs due to the closures but the company will look to redeploy them elsewhere.

The decision was made by the retail chain’s shareholders as they voted through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

The Executive Chairman of New Look, Alistair McGeorge, said that in order to remain profitable, New Look needed to “reduce [its] fixed cost base”.

New Look also gained the support of creditors in addressing its over-rented store estate.

McGeorge went on to say that it was a “tough decision” in launching the CVA and the “priority remains keeping all potentially affected colleagues informed during this difficult time”.

The Executive Chairman ran New Look between 2012 and 2014 and was brought back in in November when sales dropped. UK sales fell 10% in the 39 weeks to 23 December, 2017.

On his return, he turned down the opportunity to bring the firm to a new headquarters in Kings Cross and decided on selling more ‘back-to-basics’ clothing rather than aiming at a younger audience, predominantly.

New Look was founded in 1969, with its first store located in Taunton, Somerset. In total, there are 594 stores across the UK and 213 outlets in Europe, China and the rest of Asia.

Investment company Brait bought the retail firm in 2015.

Rising costs will also be a huge concern for New Look. Competitors such as Primark still manage to attract shoppers to their physical stores and the likes of Asos have cultivated an online shopping paradigm which New Look can’t seem to currently match.

The full list of closure can be viewed here.