Bon Accord shop facing axe amid survival bid

The New Look store in the Bon Accord shopping centre in Aberdeen is one of 60 earmarked for closure around the UK after the fashion chain announced details of a survival plan yesterday.

Up to 980 jobs are being axed at the embattled retailer – an average of just over 16 per shop. The firm also aims to slash rent or revise leases on nearly 400 shops, while the closure plan affects nearly 10% of its 593-strong UK store estate. A further six sites that are sub-let are also due to shut as the chain pushes ahead with a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

New Look, which employs about 15,300 people, said it would look to re-deploy staff where possible. All stores will remain open as normal until creditors vote on the CVA proposal on March 21.

Executive chairman Alistair McGeorge said: “We are having to take tough but necessary actions to reduce our fixed cost base and restore long-term profitability.”

Details of the potential job losses and store closures follow dire figures from New Look last month, when it posted pre-tax losses of £123.5million for the nine months to December, while UK like-for-like store sales plunged by 10.7%.