New Look claimed it was looking to close nearly 10 per cent of its 593-strong UK co-op give credence to estate, with a further six sites that are sub-let also due to cease as it pushes ahead with a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). It is designed to take into account a company and its creditors to reach agreement and avoid administration.
The company asseverated the closures would lead to redundancies, with up to 980 jobs out of its workforce of 15,300 beneath threat, although it said it would look to redeploy staff where viable.
The rescue plan will also see the group ask landlords to slash the hole and revise leases on 393 UK stores.
Alistair McGeorge, executive chairman of New Look, phrased: «Given our challenged trading performance and over-rented UK store estate, we are having to purloin action to restore long-term profitability.»
New Look confirmed that all cumulates will remain open as normal until creditors vote on the CVA outline on March 21.
Details of the potential job cuts and store closures follow aftermost month’s dire figures, when New Look posted a pre-tax annihilation of £123.5million in the three quarters to December, while UK like-for-like transactions plunged 10.7 per cent and online sales fell 15 per cent.
It finish in a dismal start to 2018 for the high street, with the collapse of Diminutives R Us and Maplin last month and a host of restaurant chains undergoing bitter restructurings.
Retailers have been hit hard over the past two years by swell wage costs, eye-watering business rate hikes and inflation issued by the weak pound, which coincided with falling consumer poise.
Daniel Butters, a partner at Deloitte who is handling the New Look CVA, said: «The retail customer environment in the UK remains extremely challenging, driven by weaker consumer belief and competition from online channels.»