Scottish stores under threat as New Look plans closures

Cornelia Mascio
Gennaio 13, 2018

According to Sky News, the fashion retailer is allegedly putting together a plan to close around 10 per cent of its stores and restructure its finances with a CVA.

The retailer is now considering a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) as a way to shut around 10pc of its 600 shops in the United Kingdom, according to Sky News, which first reported the closure plans.

Sources said on the plan was not yet finalised though and was only one of a number of options under consideration.

A decision about whether to proceed is expected to be t‎aken in the coming weeks, and would require the consent of bondholders.

If it does go ahead with the store closures, says the report, roughly one-tenth of New Look's nearly-600 outlets in Britain would be axed, with sizeable rent reductions sought at numerous remaining shops.Landlords and other creditors would be asked to vote on the plan later this year.

Landlords and other creditors would be asked to vote on the plan later this year.

New Look has six stores in and around Edinburgh, and a similar amount in Glasgow.

Last month, Toys R Us confirmed plans to shut "at least" 26 of its 106 stores in the United Kingdom, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

New Look's performance has stuttered during the a year ago, wit‎h former boss Alistair McGeorge returning as its executive chairman in November.

Like-for-like sales at its United Kingdom stores fell by over 8% in the most recently reported period.

The CVA would see creditors allow a chunk of the company's debt to be paid back over a fixed timescale.

Christo Weise, Steinhoff's largest shareholder who recently stepped down as chairman and interim chief executive, also holds the largest stake in New Look's parent company Brait.

Concerns have also been raised about New Look's relationship to embattled South African company Steinhoff, which owns Poundland, Harveys and Bensons for Beds in the UK.

The Sun Online has contacted New Look for comment.

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