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New Look aims to be UK’s H&M

New Look has thrown down the gauntlet to Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M with plans to drive an overseas stores push should its IPO be successful.

Fast-fashion chain New Look announced plans this week for a float in March to raise £650m of new shares, which it will use to pay down its £1bn debt and fund expansion and product development, with a focus on menswear and kidswear.

Carl McPhail, chief executive of New Look - which is owned by private equity houses Apax and Permira, and founder Tom Singh - said New Look is “absolutely in the sweet spot of fashion and value”.

He said: “With the growth of the international business, we do look at H&M”.

McPhail said international expansion at the 1,010-store business was top of the agenda, and a source said it could roll out as many as 500 stores at its French chain Mim as well as driving the New Look brand in Europe, where it has about 30 company-owned stores and trades in 13 markets. McPhail said: “The next market could be the Ukraine but no decision has been made.”

New Look also opened its flagship 26,000 sq ft store in London’s Oxford Street this week, in a space formerly occupied by book retailer Borders, featuring what it claims to be the West End’s largest shoe offer and an enhanced menswear offer, with 20% of the store devoted to the category.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Can New Look take on H&M? I think they are a fundamentally different shopping experience. New Look does a better job of interpreting trends. New Look is easy to shop than H&M but its product can be inconsistent from store to store. H&M also make a lot more of their designer collaborations. So, if they can get their best fashion-led product in all those 1,000 plus stores all over the world then they can be a true global fahion player. Is a big challenge...,

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