High Street

New Look asks landlords for three-month rent holiday

High street fashion retailer New Look has asked its landlords for a three month rent holiday as it looks to reduce costs during the coronavirus outbreak.

In a trading update, the retailer revealed a series of measures focused on preserving cash, maximising liquidity, managing working capital.

The measures include:

  • Significantly reducing its marketing costs
  • Requesting a three-month rent holiday from landlords
  • Pausing all production, to be reviewed as the situation evolves and in response to demand
  • Halting all recruitment

The company said it is also “actively pursuing” the relevant channels to secure the measures outlined by the government and the Bank of England including a business rates exemption for 12 months, employee cost support, deferral of tax and national insurance payments, and gaining access to the Covid Corporate Financing Facility.

New Look temporarily closed all 480 stores of its stores in the UK on the 21 March – a day after it closed all 28 of its stores in Ireland.

Nigel Oddy, CEO, said “Our absolute priority is to keep our customers and colleagues safe, which underlined our decision to temporarily close our stores in advance of Government advice to do so.

“Given the unprecedented circumstances that we – like all retailers – are operating in, we have taken a range of decisive and immediate actions to help us navigate through the coming period.”

He added: “We are confident that a combination of these ongoing actions, the significant financial and operational progress we have made over the past two years with our turnaround plan, and the strength of our brand mean that we will be well positioned to return to growth when a more normalised operating environment resumes.”

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