New Look to pull menswear from stores

New Look menswear
// New Look to stop selling menswear in its stores
// Will only offer the category online from this autumn
// New Look’s standalone menswear stores will also shut down

New Look is set to stop selling menswear in its stores and make the category an online-only offering.

According to Drapers, the fashion retailer will start removing menswear from its 160 dual-gender stores over the next four to six months.

Any in-store space freed up from the process will be used to sell womenswear or childrenswear.

New Look also plans to close down its 11 standalone menswear stores.

After the current season, menswear will only be available online via New Look’s own ecommerce website, or through Asos and Zalando.

Drapers indicated that it was not yet known if the menswear offering would be reduced as part of the process, but New Look was reportedly reviewing how head office jobs will be affected.

The news comes after a senior management reshuffle that came about after it was announced that former House of Fraser chief executive Nigel Oddy would join New Look as chief operating officer this month.

Oddy joins the fashion retailer at a pivotal time, as it undergoes a painful debt-for-equity swap refinancing scheme, exits international markets and pushes on with a major CVA that has resulted in a raft of store closures and job cuts.

The debt-for-equity swap saw majority ownership of New Look handed to bondholders in a bid to cut debt from £1.35 billion to £350 million.

In its trading update for its financial year to date ending December 22, which was published in February, New Look said like-for-like brand sales fell 2.3 per cent for the period.

However, the period featured a third consecutive quarter of improvement in like-for-likes and compares to the 10.7 per cent plunge recorded in the same period the year prior.

The retailer also highlighted that the third quarter period, which included a fair chunk of the crucial Christmas trading period, saw UK like-for-likes lifted 0.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, New Look said it had returned to profit after its underlying operating profit came in at £38.5 million, compared to an underlying operating loss of £5.1 million for the same year-to-date period the year prior.

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