New Look has announced plans to reduce the number of stores it operates across the UK amid challenged trading performance and a “difficult” retail environment.
The High Street is taking a battering over recent months, with Toys ‘R’ Us, Maplin and Marks and Spencer all announcing major closures in towns across the country this year.
All 3,000 jobs at Toys ‘R’ Us are under threat after the chain went into administration.
Maplin announced a similar story last week, while 14 Marks & Spencer stores are at risk across the country as part of a restructure.
New Look stores identified for potential closure:
- Aberdeen – Bon Accord;
- Bolton Mens;
- Burton Mens;
- Cameron Toll;
- Cardiff – Queen Arcade;
- Doncaster Mens;
- Dundee – Wellgate;
- Exeter Mens;
- Gateshead – Team Valley;
- Glasgow – Buchanan Street Mens;
- Hanley Mens – Intu Potteries;
- Hounslow Mens;
- Hull – Whitefriargate;
- Leeds – The Core Shopping Centre;
- Leicester – Haymarket;
- London – Marble Arch;
- London – Moorgate/ London Wall;
- London – Oxford Circus;
- Maidstone Mens;
- Merry Hill Mens;
- Metro Centre – Mens;
- Newport Mens;
- Newton Mearns;
- North Shields;
- Nottingham Mens;
- Ocean Terminal;
- Peterbrough Bridge Street;
- Reading – Broad Street;
- Reading Oracle Mens;
- Romford Mens;
- Shrewsbury Mens;
- Stockport – Merseyway;
- Stratford Upon Avon -Bridge Street;
- Torquay – Union Street;
- Weston Favell;
- Wigan Mens
New Look has instigated a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and seeking approval from creditors on a plan to improve the operational performance of the fashion outlet.
This (CVA) is a procedure that enables businesses in debt to pay off debt while trading – in an effort to prevent it from closing entirely. Under the proposal, New Look said it has identified 60 out of its total 593 stores in the UK for closure, alongside a further six sites which are sub-let to third parties.
The proposal also includes a reduction in rental costs and revised lease terms across 393 stores. It’s not known whether a revision on the lease on the store in Church Street, St Helens has occurred.
Under the changes, it said redundancies are highly likely – with 980 roles at risk of redundancy.
However, it said all efforts will be made to redeploy colleagues within the business where possible.
New Look is seeking creditor approval on the proposal, which is due on 21st March 2018.
All UK stores will remain open as normal during the period of the proposal and the company’s online sales channel will be completely unaffected by the proposed changes
Daniel Butters and Neville Kahn of Deloitte LLP, the business advisory firm, have been appointed as Nominees to the CVA.
Alistair McGeorge, 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.”
Daniel Butters, at Deloitte, said: “The retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging, driven by weaker consumer confidence, the implications of Brexit and competition from online channels.
“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.
“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.”