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New Look chairman confirms that up to 100 stores may shut in bid to save chain

PUBLISHED: 14:30 06 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:52 06 November 2018

New Look has already closed a store in Dereham. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

New Look has already closed a store in Dereham. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Archant

Clothing chain New Look could close as many as 100 UK stores as part of a radical plan to cut costs and improve profitability.

This includes the 60 stores marked for closure under a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) approved in March.

Executive chairman Alistair McGeorge has said 85 stores will definitely close after negotiations with landlords.

Discussions are ongoing regarding a further 13 stores, of which Mr McGeorge said around half were likely to close.

Norfolk has a number of New Look stores, including two in Norwich city centre, as well as outlets in Beccles, Great Yarmouth, Thetford and King’s Lynn.

The company’s new strategy has so far yielded higher profits, but sales continue to decline.

Figures released on Tuesday show that the company posted an underlying operating profit of £22.2m for the first half, compared to a loss of £10.4m the same period last year.

But revenue declined by 4.2% to £656.9m.

Like-for-like sales under the New Look brand dropped by 3.7%, a slower rate than last year’s 8.6% drop.

Annualised cost savings of £70m have now been achieved, with another £8m to be added.

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