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New Look declares back to basics approach in the face of fast-falling profits and sales

New Look reports online growth as consumers demand to 'buy now

New Look today declared a ‘back to basics’ approach as it unveiled falling profits and sales, both online and off, with the only growth seen in its sales via third-party websites.

The retailer reported revenue of £686m in the 26 weeks to September 23, down by 4.5% on the same time last year. Online sales via its own website were down by 7.6%, while like-for-like sales across all channels were down by 8.4%. The one bright spot was in third party commerce sales, which were up by 17%.

Pre-tax losses came in at £72.7m, down from a pre-tax profit of £0.9m at the same time last year.

The New Look board has brought back Alistair McGeorge as executive chairman. “Having previously led New Look through a period of recovery from 2011, Alistair has invaluable experience and the requisite expertise to help get the business moving forward again,” said non-executive director John Gnodde.

McGeorge 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.”

He added: “Today’s results reflect another tough period of trading for the company amid a challenging retail environment on the UK high street. 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. 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.”

New Look, a Leading retailer in IRUK Top500 research, sells via 896 stores, of which 596 are in the UK and online to more than 120 countries.

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