New Look posts decline in first quarter sales
New Look’s like-for-like sales dropped by 10.1% in its first quarter after trading was impacted by unseasonable weather in May and June.
In the 13 weeks to 29 June, core revenue was also down, falling from £300.6 million to £258.3 million in the period.
However, the fashion retailer’s pre-tax loss narrowed to £2.7 million from £15.5 million in the same quarter last year.
Alistair McGeorge, New Look executive chairman, said: “As we previously announced at our full-year results, Q1 trading was marked by continued consumer uncertainty and, being a seasonal business, we were clearly not immune from what has been the most unseasonable May and June on record, impacting footfall across the retail sector.”
During the quarter, New Look completed a financial restructuring as it looked to secure the long-term future of the business. With the restructuring now complete, the retailer has now started to invest in its leadership team following Nigel Oddy’s appointment as chief operating officer.
Oddy said: “Having visited many stores across the country during my first six months with the business, it is clear to me that New Look’s localness – the breadth of our estate and the convenient locations of our stores – is an inherent strength for us to leverage.
“We are prudently investing in refreshing some of our smaller stores through our ‘Revive’ store refurbishment programme. We have also launched a range of exciting concessions in flagship stores as we look to further enhance the customer experience.”
New Look said there was an improvement in its trading performance in the eight weeks to 24 August when like-for-like sales rose by 2.2%.
Oddy added: “I am confident the business has the right foundations in place and will continue to strengthen as we attack the future through delivering fantastic product to our customers, building brand equity and grasping new market opportunities.”
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