// New Look cuts quarterly losses thanks to its investment in stores and leadership
// The retailer aims to “transform” its business with recent appointments
// It made a statutory loss before tax improved to £1.2m on total revenue of £830.1m, compared with a £63.2m loss in the same period the year before
New Look has seen its losses narrow during the third quarter, which included Black Friday and Christmas, thanks to cost control and lower markdown.
In the 39 weeks to December 28, the fast fashion retailer reported a statutory loss before tax improved to £1.2 million on total revenue of £830.1 million during the festive period, compared with a £63.2 million loss in the same period the year before.
Like-for-like sales in the UK dropped 7.1 per cent, which the retailer blamed on “ongoing consumer uncertainty and seasonal volatility”.
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New Look also reported a 24 per cent reduction in units and that speed to market had improved as total lead times were reduced by nine days versus last year.
The retailer has made a number of senior appointments in recent months.
Chief operating officer Nigel Oddy was promoted to chief executive in December, while Bonmarché chief executive Helen Connolly was drafted in as chief commercial officer last month.
Alistair McGeorge became non-executive chairman from executive chairman in the new year, while Clare Dobbie became chief customer officer.
Moreover, David Wertheim was hired as central merchandising and supply chain director in October, before Emma Hayward was drafted in as transformation director in November.
“Investing in our leadership and people will be the single biggest enabler to transforming our business and I am delighted that Helen Connolly, Clare Dobbie, Emma Hayward and David Wertheim have all joined us in recent months,” Oddy said.
”Since moving from chief operating officer to chief executive in January, my focus has been to accelerate our transformation plans and ensure we recover the broad appeal and good value cherished by our customers.
“This time last year the company lacked the financial stability needed to operate effectively and invest in the business.
“Now, with our strengthened liquidity position, we are able to make significant appointments to our leadership team and investments in our stores and omnichannel capabilities.
“Coupled with our customer strategy review, these senior management appointments form the foundations on which to grow the business once again.
“Looking further ahead, our improved product range, enhanced lead times and omnichannel offer means we are well positioned as we focus on driving profitable sales.”
Nevertheless, the retailer said it is “confident” in its offering but remains “cautious of the challenging market environment and consumer sentiment”.