New Look ends ‘madness’ and steadies sales
NEW LOOK has put the brakes on its downward sales spiral after calling an end to the “commercial madness” of its previous management and curbing online promotions.
The fashion chain recorded a 4.2pc slip in sales to £656.9m in the six months to Sept 22, compared to a 4.5pc fall last year. Like-for-like sales were down just 3.7pc versus 8.6pc in 2017.
New Look said the results reflected progress in its ongoing turnaround plan, with better sales and profitability in womenswear helping to outperform the wider fashion market by 5.6pc. However, lacklustre business.
The company made underlying operating profits of £22.2m, compared to a loss of £10.4m last year, helped by £70m of cost savings.
Alistair McGeorge, who was parachuted in as executive chairman last year following the abrupt departure of Anders Kristiansen, said: “New Look has never been a bad business, it just went in the wrong direction as a result of being badly managed.”
Mr McGeorge said he had stopped offering free delivery to online shoppers, adding: “We’ve challenges remain in its footwear and accessories ended the commercial madness that was going on whereby we would pay to recruit the shopper and then give halfprice deliveries.”
A renewed focus on profitable growth has meant a shift away from New Look’s old obsession with teenage shoppers towards using its vast high street estate to appeal to older women. By ramping up its click and collect service, New Look hopes to lure shoppers into stores to buy more.
Falling sales have prompted South African-owned New Look to shut some stores. It is in the process of closing 85 and there is uncertainty over 39 more, but it still has nearly 600 in the UK.