New Look to slash prices following £74.3m loss

New Look has reported a loss for its last financial year. Picture: Nick Butcher

New Look has reported a loss for its last financial year. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Fashion chain New Look will continue to cut prices after it reported a full year loss, with both sales on the high street and online falling.

The retailer made an operating loss of £74.3m for the year to March 24, following a £97.6m profit in the previous year.

Like-for-like sales in the UK fell by 11.7%, accelerating from a decline of 6.8% the year before, while website sales slumped by 19.2%.

Total revenue was £1.34bn, down from £1.45bn.

And following the results, the company has announced its pricing will be lowered to “offer significantly better value” with 80% of its products to retail under £20.

The year saw the business hit with a £34.2m one-off cost, which included an exceptional charge from stock clearances.

In March the company confirmed plans to shut 60 stores, including one in Gorleston.

Alistair McGeorge, New Look’s executive chairman, said: “Last year was undoubtedly very difficult for New Look, with a well-documented combination of external and self-inflicted issues impacting our performance.

“Trading conditions will remain tough in the year ahead, but further operational efficiencies and a resolute focus on our core strengths and heartland customer will help to ensure we remain on the right track.”

New Look launched a restructuring plan in March, announcing that it would shut 60 stores as part of a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), affecting 980 jobs.

The company said on Tuesday that the CVA would allow the business to save £40 million.

The poor trading news from New Look comes after House of Fraser proposed a CVA, saying it intended to shut 31 stores, putting 6,000 jobs at risk.

Mothercare and Carpetright have also undertaken CVAs so far this year in a bid to save on costs.

Torrid trading on the high street has triggered a swathe of retail failures, with Toys R Us, Maplin and Poundworld all entering administration.

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