New Look last night opened its doors to a baying fashion pack and gave them a taster of where the retailer is headed.
The route that chief executive Carl McPhail and his well-respected team are taking will lead them to world fashion domination if their ambitions are successful.
Within weeks New Look will open another set of doors - to its new head office in London’s fashion mecca, the West End, as it begins the relocation of the business from Weymouth. It marks the start of plans to take on the likes of H&M and Zara on a global fashion stage.
At last night’s autumn/winter press show and Tuesday’s analysts and shareholders meeting the reaction was positive. New Look has, in the months since its failed sale attempt, sharpened up its offer, strategy and teams.
New Look group design director Barbara Horspool outlined the reasons why New Look can compete happily with its take on fashion at a keen price. The well-respected former M&S head of design for womenswear is a real boon for New Look as evidenced in the sleek ranges on show.
Horspool and her teams have created a range that will appeal to a broad fashion savvy consumer whether he or she is trading down in the recession or a fashion thrillseeker. Its higher-end Limited range has to develop into an integral part of the business if it is to offer a good, better, best proposition essential to see any retailer through the downturn.
Menswear, which is in its relative infancy for New Look has benefited considerably with a fresh look and will be rolled out to more stores after a strong performance. New Look’s footwear continues to outperform the rest and tempts the shopper to buy that all important complete outfit.
So New Look is well placed to please a customer that, according to today’s GfK NOP figures is feeling more confident about her personal finances, if still cautious about what to do with the cash.
When the market returns, New Look will be well positioned to continue to benefit after creating a loyal customer base – leveraged by its online offer – and after taking share from the retailers such as M&S, whose strategy in clothing is less clear.
With the capable management team and the buzz of the relocation, as evidence by its team last night, New Look is most certainly looking forwards.