New Look confirms plans to shut 60 UK stores - but will the Sheffield sites stay open?

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New Look has announced that it will be shutting a number of its UK stores as a result of 'high rental costs' and 'challenged trading'.

The high-street fashion store has today announced it has entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) amid struggling in a 'difficult retail environment'.

A CVA allows a company to exit unprofitable branches and secure rent reductions on the remaining estate.

Under the proposal, New Look has identified 60 out of its total 593 UK stores for potential closure.

It will also includes a reduction in rental costs and revised lease terms across 393 stores.

New Look currently has three stores in Sheffield; on Fargate, Crystal Peaks and at Meadowhall.

However, none of these three stores has currently been included in the list of sites identified for potential closure.

New Look said it would attempt to redeploy those at risk of redundancy, with 980 employee's jobs currently under threat, in other parts of the business.

The store, which is working with Deloitte on the restructure, said creditors will vote on whether to accept the CVA on March 21.

All stores will remain open as normal during the period of the proposal and the company's online sales channel will be completely unaffected, New Look confirmed.

Alistair McGeorge, executive chairman of New Look, said: "Given our challenged trading performance and over-rented UK store estate, we are having to take tough but necessary actions to reduce our fixed cost base and restore long-term profitability.

"We have held constructive discussions with our key landlords and strategic partners and will now seek creditor approval on our CVA proposal.

"A priority for us is to keep all potentially affected colleagues informed during this difficult time."

Daniel Butters, partner at Deloitte, said: "The retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging, driven by weaker consumer confidence, the implications of Brexit and competition from online channels.

"It is important to stress that no stores will close on day one, and employees, suppliers and business rates will continue to be paid on time and in full."