Business

New Look cuts 1,000 jobs as 60 stores close

British fashion retailer New Look plans to close 60 stores as part of a rescue deal to help it avoid going into administration.

About 980 staff face redundancy – from a 15,300-strong UK workforce – and rents at about 400 stores will be slashed.

The rescue plan still needs approval from creditors. New Look said it faced "a difficult trading environment".

Chairman Alistair McGeorge said the cuts were "tough but necessary".

The retailer hopes to redeploy employees within the business where possible.

Mr McGeorge said a key problem was its "over-rented UK store estate", and as a result, New Look had held talks with its key landlords, as part of efforts to reduce its fixed cost base and restore long-term profitability.

"The retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging, driven by weaker consumer confidence, the implications of Brexit and competition from online channels," said Daniel Butters, a partner at Deloitte, who is handling the New Look Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).

"New Look is an iconic brand on the high street and the Company Voluntary Agreement 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."

The British Property Federation (BPF) said that although it would be up to individual landlords whether they accepted the rescue plan, New Look had taken the right steps to ensure that landlords' interests were taken into account.

Original Article

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