// New Look Belgium files for insolvency
// All 6 New Look stores in Belgium will close down
// Follows exit from China last year, which led to 120 store closures
New Look’s Belgium division has filed for insolvency as the fashion retailer reviews its international operations after announcing a debt-for-equity swap earlier this week.
New Look Belgium, which operates six stores in the country, filed for bankruptcy proceedings with the Brussels Enterprise Court on 16 January.
This means the retailer will wind up its Belgian operations due to a performance that “has been below expectations and the business has not achieved the necessary sales and profitability to continue its ongoing operations on a standalone basis”.
A trustee will be appointed to take charge following the court hearing scheduled for next week.
New Look’s withdrawal from Belgium comes a few days after it announced plans to pursue a debt-for-equity swap as part of a painful restructuring scheme that includes cutting its debt from £1.35 billion to £350 million.
The debt-for-equity deal entails New Look handing over majority ownership to creditors in a bid to cut the debt it owes.
The Belgian exit also comes a few months after it wound up its operations in China, which resulted in 120 store closures.
It still has stores in France and Poland while at home in the UK, New Look could close as many as 100 UK stores as part of its ongoing CVA, which aims to turnaround the business by cutting costs to improve profitability.
“As previously announced, New Look is reviewing its non-core international markets to ensure it is well positioned to drive strong group business performance and profitable growth,” New Look said in a statement.
“The strategic review of New Look’s other non-core international markets continues.”