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New Look to shed up to a sixth of stores

Fast fashion retailer New Look is planning to close up to a sixth of its outlets in the UK, as it looks to increase the average size of its stores.

The proposed closures will bring the high street chain’s retail footprint from 590 stores to 500 in the next three to five years.

This represents a net total of closures, with the business planning to transfer from existing properties to larger spaces within the same catchment area.

Chairman Alistair McGeorge said New Look has “too many shops” in the UK market and the business is looking to “reduce the overall number” but would “increase the space” in existing stores.

The changes, which were revealed as the business reported a jump in earnings of 29%, are part of the value retailer’s “three-point turnaround plan”, which will see further new concept stores rolled out.

The new shopfit has been launched into 160 New Look stores to date.

New Look’s recently appointed chief executive Anders Kristiansen said these stores contained “less stock” and had a “strong emphasis on visual merchandising”.

He added: “We have experienced a 9.3% rise in profit in concept stores following the new fitting; our sales on products used in visual merchandising have jumped 20%.

“It’s about creating an entire outfit and look for the customer, not just pushing one item in particular. The remodelling is about creating a better shopping environment for the customer.”

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