Struggling New Look to exit Belgium
As New Look continues to battle its way back from the brink, the British value fashion retailer on Thursday announced that it has made a decision regarding its Belgian operation. And that decision is? To file for insolvency.
The parent firm’s board said that the board of New Look Belgium SA had taken the decision following a review of its financial and trading position.
The chain is only small in Belgium with just six stores there, and it “has concluded that it is unable to continue trading, and has determined to wind up its operations.”
It seems that the performance in the country “has been below expectations and the business has not achieved the necessary sales and profitability to continue its ongoing operations on a standalone basis.”
The company filed for bankruptcy proceedings with the Brussels Enterprise Court on Wednesday and said that a trustee will be appointed “who will take charge after a court hearing planned for the week commencing 21 January.”
It’s all such a contrast to not so many years ago when New Look was one of the UK’s most buoyant fashion names and had ambitious plans for its international business.
But tough times both at home and abroad left it with a massive and unsustainable debt load, too many stores and sales that wouldn’t grow. Only this week it struck a deal with lenders to hand over control of the company to them in order to wipe out around £1 billion of its debt.
It has been closing UK stores as part of its recovery plan and has also been reviewing its “non-core international markets to ensure it is well positioned to drive strong group business performance and profitable growth.” On Thursday it said the strategic review of its other non-core international markets continues.
The news about New Look also followed other reports this week that British rival River Island is to close stores in both Belgium and the Netherlands on the back of poor sales.
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