New Look is drawing up proposals for a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in a bid to shutter 10% of its store estate and slash its rent bill.
A decision, which would require bondholders’ consent, is expected to be made in the coming weeks, Sky News reported.
New Look is understood to be in early stage internal discussions over the CVA. Landlords and other creditors would be required to vote through any proposed plans later this year.
The value-focused fashion retailer is currently under severe pressure.
As reported earlier this week, New Look faces issues with suppliers after some credit insurers cut or reduced cover.
In an added blow to morale, it signed over the lease of its new head office to Google.
It follows an extended period of poor trading. New Look’s like-for-like sales declined 8.6% in its first half, while adjusted EBITDA plummeted 72%.
Former chief executive Anders Kristiansen departed amid those falling sales and a disagreement over strategy in September 2017. The retailer opted to re-hire former boss Alistair McGeorge as executive chairman.
McGeorge is currently trying to engineer a turnaround, which is based on a less fashion-forward, more democratic aesthetic, designed to appeal to women between the ages of 20 and 40.
New Look is one of a coterie of major retailers seeking to reduce its store estate.
Last week it emerged that beleaguered department store House of Fraser was asking landlords to reduce its rent bill, while just before Christmas Toys R Us UK won approval for a plan to close around 25% of its estate through a CVA.