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New Look to invest in stores following £100m refinancing

New Look has successfully completed a £100m debt refinancing deal with Wells Fargo, which it will use to boost its omnichannel offering following a full-year loss.

According to reports in Retail Week, the UK fashion retailer will use the deal to strengthen its omnichannel operating model and respond to changing consumer shopping habits.

New Look’s revenue rose from £839.6m in 2022 to £844.7m as it prioritised full-price sales. The retailer also recorded a 67% increase in adjusted EBITDA for the full year, from £25.2m to £42.2m.

The RetailX UK Top50 retailer posted a statutory loss before tax of £87.8m for the period – up from a £25.5m loss in 2022, attributing it to a one-off impairment charge of £47.4m following annual accounting assessment of all tangible and intangible assets.

“We have turned focus back on what the core business is about: cost and our strategic investments. We often reference omnichannel, as does everyone, but for New Look it has made a meaningful difference,” explained Helen Connolly, chief executive, New Look.

“We are really focused on those customers who shop in both channels; they are the ones who are most loyal and the most valuable to us.”

She went on to confirm that the retailer’s 2021 voluntary agreement, which was challenged by landlords, is “on track” to end next year.

Connolly added: “We have closed a number of stores, but we are also investing in opening new ones to put our store portfolio in a strong position. We can now start investing back into some refurbishments and we are looking at new store opportunities.”

Furthermore, Connolly stressed that despite the on-going challenges surrounding inflation the brand was confident of its long-term appeal and looked forward to strong sales on the lead up to Christmas.

“We had our best-ever sales last year during Black Friday weekend, so we’re hoping to replicate that again,” noted Connolly.

“We want to maintain a strong full-price position and, throughout the course of November, will look at what promotional activity is there for customers. We’re not going to do blanket promotions; they will be very targeted.”

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