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New Look to axe 980 staff and 60 stores in rescue plan

Out of fashion: Sales slumped last year

NEW Look is to shut 60 stores and axe up to 980 jobs as part of a rescue plan.

The fashion retailer is also in talks with landlords to cut rents and revise leases on most of its 593 shops.

It comes as it seeks to enter a company voluntary arrangement to reduce debts.

Alistair McGeorge, executive chairman of New Look, said: ‘Given our challenged trading performance and over-rented UK store estate, we are having to take tough but necessary actions to restore long-term profitability.’

The retailer, which has 15,300 UK staff, said it would look to redeploy staff threatened with redundancy, he added.

Its creditors will vote on its proposal on March 21. All stores will remain open until that time.

Daniel Butters, of Deloitte, which is handling the CVA, said it would ‘provide a stable platform upon which a turnaround plan can be delivered’.

Last month, the chain revealed a nine-month pre-tax loss of £123.5million as like-for-like sales fell 10.7 per cent.

News of the restructure is another blow for the high street. Last week, Toys R Us and Maplin went into administration and restaurant chain Prezzo announced it was closing 100 outlets.

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