New Look to abandon ambitious China roll-out plan

Struggling UK fashion retailer New Look is set to cull its China store network.

Weeks after signing a Company Voluntary Arrangement with its creditors and landlords in the UK – a plan which will see it close 60 stores – chairman Alistair McGeorge has cast doubt on the future of the ambitious China plans announced by former CEO Anders Kristiansen.

“We are taking a view on all our stores,” he told the Press Association in the UK. “We are taking a good hard look, and we will probably do some downsizing.”

So far, New Look has opened 148 stores across China, barely one third of its target. The stores are company owned rather than franchised as many international retailers choose to in China. It did not open any in Hong Kong or Macau.

In the year to March 24, New Look recorded a loss of £74.3 million (US$98.4 million; HK$772.6 million) after a £97.6 million profit the previous year.

Besides store closures, McGeorge is planning to reduce prices and broaden its target market from the millennials it was targeting under Kristiansen.

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