New Look records loss as it brings back old boss to lead revival

New Look has become the latest retailer to fall victim to tough trading conditions as it witnessed a half year-loss.

The fashion retailer recorded an underlying operating loss of £10.4m compared to a underlying operating profit of £59.3m in the first half of 2017.

Revenue also took a hit in the 26 weeks to September 23, falling 4.5% to £686m.

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New Look said the results reflect another tough period of trading for the company amid a challenging retail environment on the high street.

But Alistair McGeorge, who has returned to New Look as executive chairman after six years away from the company, is optimistic about the retailer’s future.

Whilst we’re not anticipating a reversal in fortunes overnight, I am confident we will implement the necessary changes to get the company back on track,” he said.

“We will focus on ensuring that we buy into the right trends with the right product, have an efficient supply chain, and provide customers with great value.

“New Look is a remarkable brand supported by brilliant people, and we will focus on getting back to basics and rebuilding our position within the UK womenswear market.”

McGeorge led New Look through a period of recovery in 2011 before leaving the company in 2014.

Commenting on his return, he said: “I am delighted to return to New Look as Executive Chairman. The immediate focus in this period of transition will be to deliver stability and get the business back to basics by reconnecting with the New Look customer and recovering our broad appeal.”

Last month, Lingerie Insight reported that New Look has scrapped nearly 400 store management roles following a consultation process.

The consultation, which involved 1,000 members of staff, led to 390 deputy managers and sales managers being made redundant.

430 staff were reportedly retained by the business, while 100 quit due to natural turnover and a further 20 took a deferred redundancy and will be let off in the future.

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