New Look names stores which could close as part of rescue deal

New Look has said that up to 980 jobs are being axed under plans to shut 60 stores and slash rent on

New Look has said that up to 980 jobs are being axed under plans to shut 60 stores and slash rent on nearly 400 shops as part of a rescue deal. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A Norfolk branch of New Look is among those which could close as part of a proposal to reduce the company's fixed costs, as the tough trading environment continues.

The embattled retailer said it has identified 60 stores – including in Gorleston – which could be closed, resulting in up to 980 job losses across the UK.

It is also proposing to reduce rental costs across a further 393 stores as part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which will allow it to cut some of its debts to continue trading.

The company says 'all efforts will be made' to redeploy staff elsewhere in the business should the closures go ahead.

Alistair McGeorge, executive chairman 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.'

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Daniel Butters of business advisory firm Deloitte, who is managing the CVA with colleague Neville Kahn, said the UK retail trading environment remains 'extremely challenging' due to a drop in consumer confidence, the implications of Brexit and competition from online sellers.

'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,' he said.

New Look currently has 593 stores around the UK and employs 15,300 people.

In Norfolk and Suffolk it has stores in Norwich, Ipswich, Thetford, Bury St Edmunds, Dereham, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Beccles, King's Lynn, Sudbury and Colchester, as well as Gorleston.