Sidmouth New Look will ‘most likely’ close

Sidmouth's New Look outlet is one of 60 stores identified by New Look for potential closure. Image:

Sidmouth's New Look outlet is one of 60 stores identified by New Look for potential closure. Image: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth’s New Look store has been earmarked for closure by company bosses.

The retail giant this week revealed a list of 60 shops across the UK which have been ‘identified for potential closure’ and will ‘most likely close within six to 12 months’.

The announcement comes after the business’s creditors approved a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposal, which could see up to 980 members of staff made redundant nationwide. New Look says employees will be ‘redeployed within the business where possible’.

On Wednesday, New Look announced that 98 per cent of its creditors and landlords voted in favour of its CVA.

The company, which has 593 UK stores and 15,300 employees, has also identified a further six sites, which are sub-let to third parties, for closure.

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The final decision on individual store closures will be made by the company and the stores’ respective landlords.

A statement released by the company said: “Under the terms, the stores identified for potential closure are most likely to close within six to 12 months’ time subject to decisions by individual landlords, but no stores will close on day one.”

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The CVA proposal requires that the company makes redundancies from the identified stores.

A New Look spokesman said the decision was made amid challenges around trading performance in a difficult retail environment. It is hoped the move will improve the company’s ‘operational performance’ by reducing its UK store estate and rental cost base.

Alistair McGeorge, New Look’s executive chairman, said, in order to help restore the long-term profitability, it was clear they needed to reduce their over-rented store estate, so they were pleased to have gained support from their creditors.

He added: “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.”

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