New Look, the value fashion chain, is assessing a variety options for its property portfolio as the company looks to kick off its search for a chief executive.
According to the Independent on Sunday, group property director Richard White has hired property advisor CB Richard Ellis to examine the future of the 604 stores in the UK.
New Look is seeking to reduce costs and improve the business, and has started discussions with landlords on leases that are coming to an end. The retailer may close some locations unless landlords offer rent free deals. Due to some of its stores being very large, New Look could potentially sublet space to concessions and other retailers.
According to the reports, White said: “Everything is being reviewed, analysed and changed. There will be a new store refit to ensure we have a flexible store design that works in all our sizes of stores. We will look at the entire network of stores and at how to use the space we have, better.”
The New Look management team was subject to a shake-up in March as chief executive Carl McPhail and non-executive chairman John Gildersleeve left and founder Tom Singh was parachuted in. Executive chairman Alistair McGeorge launched a strategic review in June and has now hired headhunters to find a new chief executive.
In June, the retailer reported that underlying profits slumped 40% and UK like-for-likes dropped 7.1% in its full year to March 26 as it suffered from “significant” disruption to the business.