Scotland, Wales to see most New Look closures but London flagships also targeted
A list of stores that troubled fashion retailer New Look is said to be planning to close is circulating and it looks like Scotland and Wales will see the biggest impact but London flagships could also go.
As many as 49 stores are believed to be on the hit list that has been drawn up the firm’s advisors but neither New Look nor any of those advisors (Deloitte and CBRE) are commenting at the moment.
The list covers a wide range of locations in malls, on high streets and even in retail parks, despite the latter being among the most buoyant UK retail destinations at present.
While targeted closures are spread across different location types, geographically the axe won’t fall evenly. Scotland is believed to be the target of 25% of the closures despite Scotland containing less than 10% of the UK’s population. Meanwhile wales could see 18% of the closures, despite its population making up less than 5% of the UK total.
Only 10% are planned for the more affluent South east of England but they are reported include two Oxford Street, London, flagships. It’s unclear whether another Oxford Street store due to open this spring will go ahead. New Look is already reported to have pulled out of a site in the new Westfield London extension. Another flagship, in Edinburgh, is also reportedly slated for closure.
The closures could happen whether New Look decides to try to solve its problems in its current form of opts for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). In the latter case, analysts have said that up to 60 of its 600 UK stores could close.
The company is seeking to reduce its £1.2billion debt load and a cut in its rent bill would be a major step on this road. New Look operates almost 900 stores, two-thirds of them in the UK.
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