New Look could close up to 100 stores in the latest blow to high streets across Britain.
The fashion retailer’s plan is part of a revamp designed to cut costs and improve profitability for the company.
Today, the chain said 85 stores had closed or were closing. Talks were ongoing with another 13 stores.
Another 26 stores were trading rent-free as landlords or New Look were able to end the deal at any time.
Today, the chain said 85 stores had closed or were closing. Talks were ongoing with another 13 stores (stock image)
Creditors for the chain had already approved plans to shut 60 stores and axe 1,000 jobs in March.
Sales for New Look fell 3.7% for the 26 weeks to September 22 – but was a marked improvement on the 8.6% fall for the same period last year.
The retailer has seen a huge boost in operating profits, making £22.2m this year compared with a loss of £10.4m last year.
Up to £70m in savings had been achieved, with a further £8m identified.
Part of the restructuring of the brand included an expanding online department and more full-price sales.
New Look announced it was pulling out of China, where it had more than 100 stores, and was reviewing its other international operations.
In 2015, 90% of New Look was bought by Brait for £780m from Apax and Permira.
New Look announced it was pulling out of China, where it had more than 100 stores, and was reviewing its other international operations (stock image)
The remaining stake was kept by Tom Singh, who founded the company in 1969, and senior managers.
Shoppers have taken to social media to share their concerns about the newly-announced closures.
Luke Neal tweeted: ‘More blood on the high street. It’s all rather depressing.’
Another person wrote: ‘Brexit strikes again.’
New Looks announcement is the latest blow to shoppers on the high street. It comes just two weeks after Debenhams announced it will shut up to 50 stores.
In a sign of the crisis facing UK traditional retailers, Debenhams is expected to lose almost £500million and will shut dozens of shops in a battle for survival.
The shortfall is the biggest in its 240-year history and one of the largest ever by a major retailer in the UK. Last year Debenhams made profits of £59million.
Carpetright, Toy’r’us, House of Fraser and Maplin are among some of the firms which have announced cut-backs this year.
Which high street retailers have closed shops in 2018?
House of Fraser nearly plunged into administration but was rescued at the eleventh hour by Mike Ashley
The year has seen a bloodbath of Britain’s high streets – with many of the nation’s retailers shutting stores and axing jobs.
Here are some of the big name retailers which have lost out as they face fierce competition from the rise of online shopping
The carpet retailer is closing 92 stores across the UK.
These closures represent nearly a quarter of all UK Carpetright stores.
Toys R’ Us
The UK’s largest toy shop went into administration in February 201, leading to an estimated 2,000 redundancies.
House of Fraser:
The department store chain was on the verge of heading into administration but was rescued at the eleventh hour by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.
The electronics giant has gone bust, closing shops across the country and putting thousands of jobs at risk.
The baby and toddler chain is closing 60 shops across the UK putting up to 900 jobs at risk.
Poundworld announced it was going into administration on June 11 after talks with potential buyer R Capital broke down, putting 5,100 jobs at risk.
The DIY chain set to close 42 DIY outlets shut, putting around 1,500 jobs at risk.
Marks & Spencer:
The retailer announced in May it plans to close 100 stores by 2022, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.
In August stores in Northampton, Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Stockton and Walsall all ceased trading.