Sales rebound at New Look after restructuring
03 August 2021

New Look has said that larger shopping sprees have offset lower footfall as the fashion retailer seeks to recover from a difficult year amid the pandemic.

The high street brand revealed that total revenues have more than doubled for the first quarter of the current year.

However, it came as the company also announced that sales plunged by 40% to £542.2 million for the year to 27 March in its latest full year of trading. However it achieved a statutory profit before tax of £108m (2020: loss before tax of £430.7m) primarily reflecting "intangible impairment reversals on future cash flows from stores following its CVA".

CEO Nigel Oddy said New Look’s figures for last year “are clearly not reflective of the health of the business as it stands here today”.

The company confirmed in its accounts that it closed 39 stores to take its portfolio to 472 sites at the end of the year.

The figures come after New Look pushed through a Company’s Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal last September, which also heavily reduced its rent bill.

New Look's accounts also showed that it had reduced its employee numbers by almost 2,000 to 10,912 at the end of March this year.

The company said on Tuesday that it had been boosted by the reopening of stores in April but has also seen e-commerce sales rise over the period, with a 3.8% increase for the quarter to the end of June

Total revenues for the period soared by 181.7% to £194.4m compared with the same period last year, which had seen the retailer hit by pandemic closures.

The group also said it has seen a positive reaction from shoppers to its latest summer ranges with “strong” sales of dresses and sandals since UK weather warmed up.

Oddy said: “We have been delighted to welcome our customers back to our stores since reopening from April 2021, which, as expected, has driven strong sales growth as lower footfall has been offset by improved sales conversion rates.

“Looking ahead, structural changes in the market have accelerated as a result of the pandemic and there is no doubt the retail landscape has been permanently transformed.

“New Look has an excellent opportunity to capitalise on, and the combination of a cohesive omnichannel model, conveniently located stores, and feel-good fashion at great prices will put us in a strong position to deliver long-term and sustainable growth.”

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