New Look, the high street multiple, is set to add 80,000sq ft to its trading space by the end of the year, including opening a new London flagship, after it bought five stores from book chain Borders.
New Look has taken a four-floor London Oxford Street site from Borders, which is just a short distance away from its previous site on the south of the street which burnt down two years ago.
At 30,000sq ft, the Oxford Street store will be New Look’s second largest in the UK and will feature its latest shopfit - modelled on the design of its Westfield London store - plus some updated elements. The other four stores are in Blanchardstown in Dublin, London Colney in Hertfordshire, Swindon in Wiltshire and Llantrisant in south Wales.
Will Kernan, group managing director (owned stores), said he hoped the stores would be trading as New Look before Christmas.
He added that the new Oxford Street flagship would link in with the relocation of the fast-fashion chain’s head office from Weymouth in Dorset to London. It plans to begin moving most of its head office functions including buying, merchandising and design to a new office in the Wells & More building in Mortimer Street and Wells Street in London’s West End in six weeks.
New Look has proved resilient to the recession so far because of its value fashion positioning. Total group sales in the year to March 28 grew by 14.9% to £1.32 billion and EBITDA rose 10.2% to £217.6 million. Like-for-likes in the UK and Republic of Ireland rose 1.4% over the period.