Embattled high street retailer New Look posted group like-for-like sales down -10.6% in the 39 weeks ending 23 December, as heavy discounting during Q3 took its toll.
Overall group revenue was down -6.3% at £1.07bn and UK like-for-likes were down 10.7%. Own website sales sunk by -15% with third-party website sales being the only bright spot, up 21.9%.
Underlying operating loss for the nine months year-to-date were £5.1m while losses before tax hit £123.5m.
Chairman Alistair McGeorge, who was brought back to the retailer last November, to attempt to execute a turnaround of its fortunes. said its key priority for the final quarter of the financial year was to clear its stock and be ready to deliver strong full-price sales for the Spring/Summer season.
“I am confident that we are now making the necessary changes to get the company back on track and we continue to have sufficient liquidity to deliver our plans. In particular, we are focusing on reducing costs, recovering the broad appeal of our product and reconnecting with our customers,”McGeorge said.
“We are already realigning our pricing to offer significantly better value, adding flexibility to our buying model, and improving our speed to market. Additionally, we are working hard to achieve a better alignment between ecommerce and stores. Taken together, this will help to drive future full price sales,” he added.
McGeorge, a former CEO of Matalan, previously led New Look through a period of recovery in 2011 and is believed to be considering the closure of up to 10% (60) of its stores.
At the weekend it was reported that bondholders in the group, which is majority owned by South African investor Brait, were looking to seek protection of their interests ahead of an expected financial restructure.