Which New Look stores are closing down in the UK and what is a Company Voluntary Agreement?

Find out if your nearest store is one of the dozens closing down – and why so many are being shut…

How many people will the New Look decision impact?

New Look has sought approval from creditors to cut 1,600 staff and close more than 85 stores after performing poorly and struggling to pay back the money it owes.

In a statement, the company said it identified 60 out of its total of 593 stores for potential closure, as well as a further six sites which are sub-let to third parties.

The Company Voluntary Arrangement proposal also includes a reduction in rental costs and revised lease terms across 393 stores.

As a result, up to 980 of its 15,300 UK staff will be made redundant, though the company says it will try to redeploy them elsewhere in the business.

A further 25 stores were announced to be closing on November 6 2018 but the names of these stores are yet to be released.

New Look has said it will also close all 148 of its stores in China.

These New Look stores are due to shut

Aberdeen – Bon Accord; Beckton; Bolton Mens; Borehamwood; Brynmawr; Burton Mens; Cameron Toll; Cardiff – Queen Arcade; Cheshunt; Clevedon; Craigleith; Doncaster Mens; Dundee – Wellgate; Exeter Mens; Fleet; Gateshead – Team Valley; Glasgow – Buchanan Street Mens; Gorleston; Hanley Mens – Intu Potteries; Hounslow Mens; Hull – Whitefriargate; Keynsham; Kingswood; Leeds – The Core Shopping Centre; Leicester – Haymarket; London – Marble Arch; London – Moorgate / London Wall; London – Oxford Circus; Maidenhead; Maidstone Mens; Merry Hill Mens; Metro Centre – Mens; Monmouth; Newport Mens; Newton Mearns; North Shields; Nottingham Mens; Ocean Terminal; Peterbrough Bridge Street; Pontypool; Portswood; Ramsgate; Reading – Broad Street; Reading Oracle Mens; Rhyl; Romford Mens; Rugby; Shrewsbury Mens; Sidmouth; Stockport – Merseyway; Stockton-on-Tees; Stratford Upon Avon -Bridge Street; Thornaby; Tonypandy; Torquay – Union Street; Tredegar; Troon; Wallsend; Weston Favell; Wigan Mens.

What is a Company Voluntary Arrangement?

Directors can propose a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) when their firm is experiencing difficulties in paying its debts, New Look explains.

It means the company is essentially entering into a legally binding agreement with its creditors, which could include suppliers or landlords.

It enables a company and its creditors to come to a compromise agreement and avoid an administration or liquidation.

A CVA can provide a company with some breathing space to allow it to reorganise or restructure its funding and/or its operations with as little disruption as possible.

What have New Look bosses said and how will closures happen?

New Look executive chairman Alistair McGeorge said: "We are having to take tough but necessary actions to reduce our fixed cost base and restore long-term profitability.

"We have held constructive discussions with our key landlords and strategic partners and will now seek creditor approval on our CVA proposal.

"A priority for us is to keep all potentially affected colleagues informed during this difficult time."

Consultancy firm Deloitte said: "No stores will close on day one, and employees, suppliers and business rates will continue to be paid on time and in full."

Executive chairman Alistair McGeorge said today that 85 stores will definitely close after negotiations with landlords and warned that conditions on the high street are still challenging.

He said: "We continue to work hard to accelerate our progress, but we are facing into significant headwinds and uncertainties, including Brexit.

"Clearly the wider retail environment remains challenging and we are not expecting that to change anytime soon.

"However, we are on the right track and continue to drive further efficiencies across the business."

How long has this decision been coming?

McGeorge confirmed potential store closures in February, the Guardian reports.

He said they were looking at instigating a CVA, but also said he had identified £25million of cost-saving measures since taking the role in November.

He was given the helm after sales plummeted under Anders Kristiansen, whose team rose prices and sold clothes that were "too young and edgy".

Sales for the 39 weeks to December 23 dropped 6.3 per cent to £1.1billion, a pre-tax loss of £123.5m

When was New Look founded?

New Look was founded by Tom Singh in Taunton, Somerset, in 1969.

Prior to the closures, it now has more than over 900 stores internationally, including in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and Romania.

It has expanded into Asia, with outlets in Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates and China.

The group had a turnover of £1.1billion in 2008, with profits of £180 million.

New Look was acquired by South African organisation Brait SE, which also owns the health club chain Virgin Active, for £780 million in May 2015.

Brait SE is a South African investment heavyweight in which tycoon Christo Wiese owns about a third of its stock.

Source: Read Full Article