Fashion retail chain New Look has sought approval from its creditors to close more than 60 stores, putting as many as 980 jobs at risk.
Announcing the move today, the company said it had “identified 60 out of its total 593 stores in Britain for potential closure”, as well as a further “six sites which are sub-let to third parties”, according to Reuters.
New Look is instigating a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) – under which an insolvent limited company can pay creditors over a fixed period – with business services firm Deloitte understood to be handling the restructuring plan, Sky News reports.
The company’s owner, South African investment firm Brait SE, is seeking to “improve the operational performance of the fashion outlet” after reports showed the store was exhibiting poor sales and struggling to repay £1.2bn in debt, Reuters adds.
“The proposal involves a requirement to make redundancies from the stores which have been identified for potential closure, expected to be a maximum of 980 colleagues amongst the company’s current UK staff base of 15,300 people,” a statement published on New Look’s website said.
“However, all efforts will be made to redeploy colleagues within the business where possible,” it added.
Stores identified for possible closure include branches in Nottingham, Doncaster, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester and three separate stores in London, including the brand’s flagship store at Oxford Circus.
New Look is the latest high-street brand to seek financial restructuring help following similar issues at toy brand Toys R Us and electronics firm Maplin – both of which collapsed into administration just a week ago.
The toy chain fell despite being granted a similar CVA in December, Sky News reports.