The New Look store in Ramsgate is one of 60 that is earmarked for closure as the firm enters a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
Under the proposal, New Look has identified 60 out of its total 593 stores in the UK for potential closure, alongside a further 6 sites which are sub-let to third parties. The proposal also includes a reduction in rental costs and revised lease terms across 393 stores.
The closures will mean redundancies of 980 people across the country, including those at the Ramsgate town centre store, although New Look says it will make every effort to redeploy staff to other stores.
New Look is seeking creditor approval on the proposal, which is due on March 21. All UK stores will remain open as normal during the period of the proposal.
Daniel Butters and Neville Kahn of Deloitte LLP, the business advisory firm, have been appointed as Nominees to the CVA.
Alistair McGeorge, Executive Chairman of New Look, said: “Given our challenged trading performance and over-rented UK store estate, we are having to take tough but necessary actions to reduce our fixed cost base and restore long-term profitability.
“We have held constructive discussions with our key landlords and strategic partners and will now seek creditor approval on our CVA proposal. A priority for us is to keep all potentially affected colleagues informed during this difficult time.”
Daniel Butters, Partner at Deloitte, said: “The retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging, driven by weaker consumer confidence, the implications of Brexit and competition from online channels.
“New Look is an iconic brand on the high street and the CVA will provide a stable platform upon which Management’s turnaround plan can be delivered. We have fully engaged with the British Property Federation and its members and their views are reflected in what we believe is a fair proposal to restructure the property obligations of the Company.
“It is important to stress that no stores will close on day one, and employees, suppliers and business rates will continue to be paid on time and in full.”