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High street fashion retailer New Look confirms plans to close stores and cut jobs

PUBLISHED: 16:30 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:03 21 March 2018

New Look store, Beccles.

New Look store, Beccles.

Archant © 2018

Fashion retailer New Look has confirmed plans which will see it close 60 stores, including one at Gorleston.

The struggling chain’s shareholders voted through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which allows it to write down some of its debts through rent reductions.

New Look said there will be 980 employees affected by the closures, however it will try to redeploy staff elsewhere if possible.

Store closures are expected to occur over the next six to 12 months but the company said they would not begin immediately.

Alistair McGeorge, executive chairman of New Look, said: “In order to help restore long-term profitability, it is clear we need to reduce our fixed cost base. We are therefore pleased to have gained the support of our creditors to address our over-rented store estate. Launching a CVA has been a tough decision and our priority remains keeping all potentially affected colleagues informed during this difficult time.

“The CVA is one of a number of necessary actions we are taking to get the company back on track. In addition to implementing other cost-saving initiatives, we are already focusing on driving future full price sales by realigning our pricing to offer significantly better value, adding flexibility to our buying model, and improving our speed to market. Additionally, we have further strengthened our alignment between ecommerce and stores.

“New Look is a great brand and today represents another important step in helping to rebuild our position within the UK market.”

New Look has stores in king’s Lynn, Thetford, Dereham, Norwich and Beccles.

The move follows several other CVAs on the high street with restaurant chains Byron, Jamie’s Italian and Prezzo all closing stores as part of restructures.

Retailers Maplin and Toys R Us have collapsed into administration with the latter now closing all stores after failing to find a buyer.

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