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New Look is a chain of high
street shops in Britain, Belgium, France and the Republic of Ireland. It is
known for its value-based approach to retailing and its core products are clothing,
lingerie and shoes.
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New Look sale stalled
The sale of New Look is thought to have collapsed yesterday after bidders refused to meet a £1.8bn reserve price set by its private equity owners. The Financial Times said the two remaining bidders for New Look pulled out ahead of Tuesday's auction, leaving the retailer having to pursue a refinancing instead. Warburg Pincus, which has teamed up with TPG Capital, and BC Partners withdrew from the process on Monday night, having failed to meet Apax's and Permira's 2 bln stg valuation of the business, according to the paper.
5 July 2007
Goldman denies interest in New Look
Investment bank Goldman Sachs has adamantly denied the rumour that it is interested in purchasing the New Look fashion chain and has publicly refuted claims that is was entering the bidding for it. The bank's executives are said to be irate at the suspected involvement of Merrill Lynch, whom they suspect started the rumours in more an attempt to garner more interest for the sale, reports the Financial Times. The paper, however, also learned that there had been a real basis for the rumours, as Goldman Sachs was said to have attempted to build a consortium to buy the chain three weeks before. The consortium was comprised of Tom Singh, New Look's founder; Landmark International, the group's Middle East franchise partner, and a selection of hedge funds. At the time, the consortium demanded Merrill Lynch stop the auction and give it exclusivity, but the demand was not met by Merrill and Goldman Sachs then quit the proceedings without showing further interest.
Meanwhile, only two parties have shown interest in the chain and are bidding below the asking price of £2 billion – the valuation made by current owners Apax and Permira. Warburg Pincus and TPG Capital, and BC Partners are said to have bid between £1.6 billion and £1.8 billion. This is a blow for Merrill, who was already widely criticized for the way it handled the sale of Sports Direct International. Merrill managed the IPO, and the sporting goods company proceeded to lose almost a third in value after only three months on the stock exchange. An added embarrassment for Merrill is the poor performance of Debenhams, which it – along with three other banks – took public three years ago. Although, Merrill is not in any way responsible for the department store chain's poor track record, its past connection to the group does little for its reputation. In the meantime, Merrill insists that the New Look auction is still on track.
6 June 2007
New Look sale in question
Sources close to fashion chain New Look have insisted its £2 billion sale is on track but say owners Apax and Permira will pursue a recapitalisation if bids due this month disappoint. The update came amid intense industry speculation that New Look founder Tom Singh had taken the decision to leave. Singh, who started the chain after borrowing £5,000 from his parents, could not be reached for comment but it is thought the multi-millionaire wants to concentrate on emerging retail markets such as India.
Singh is further thought to be interested in investing in renewable energy schemes in the country. It was previously believed he might retain some of his 21 per cent equity stake, worth an estimated £200 million, following a deal.
4 June 2007
New Look worth 2 billion
Tom Singh, the founder of New Look, could pocket £200m from the retailer's imminent sale. Singh, who holds a 22 per cent stake in the chain that he founded in 1969, is in the process of deciding whether to sell some or all of his stake in New Look, which has an estimated price tag of £2bn.
Singh's massive potential windfall will raise questions over his decision to back the sale of the chain for £700m just two years ago. New Look has around £1.1bn of debt, meaning that the group will have £900m of equity to be split between Singh, New Look's management, Apax and Permira, the company's private equity majority owners, and Landmark, the Dubai-based retailer that has a 3 per cent stake. "We think all the current shareholders will sell," said a private equity executive last night.
An executive close to Singh stressed that he had not yet made up his mind about whether or not to sell his stake. The executive added that Singh believed there was plenty of growth still to come at New Look after the sale.
14 May 2007
Lily Allen launches New Look range
Lily Allen is the latest celebrity joining the designer ranks of fashion collaborations. The Myspace pop queen has launched a range for New Look featuring her prom-style dresses, footwear and jewellery.
At a shopping preview invited guests were snapping up Allen's dresses and graffiti-print, strapless, bubble-hem dress. Further strong sellers were a red, ruffled, prom dress in a floral print, a strapless, ruffled, chiffon dress and a floor-length sundress with her song titles embroidered onto it.
Merchandising director, Vicki Watkin told WGSN: "Lily speaks to our kind of girl and her collection is very young at heart - it has a realness about it that people associate with Lily. Her website created lots of interest and we expect the range to do very well indeed."
10 May 2007
New Look closes after blaze
New Look's Oxford Street flagship was hit by a fire blaze in an adjacent building. More than 100 fire fighters and 20 fire engines were sent to the store on the south side of Oxford Street on Thursday evening. Shoppers and staff were evacuated from the store and nearby buildings, and police closed a quarter-mile section of the normally busy road between Oxford Circus and Wells Street.
It is expected to remain closed until at least noon today and buildings within that area will be inaccessible while the cordon remains in place.
27 April 2007
Bidders in spades for New Look
New Look is attracting a great deal of interest from potential bidders since it announced it was for sale for £2 billion last month. At least six bidders have made contact with the fashion chain, including private equity groups Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus. They have hired Citigroup and Morgan Stanley respectively to help them with the bid, writes the FT. TPG has a proven track record in retail buy-outs, notably Debenhams, Australian department store group Myer and US department store group Neiman Marcus.
Others believed to be interested are private equity firm CVC Capital, buy-out firm Blackstone and Landmark Group, the Dubai-based group that is in charge of New Look's franchise operations in the Middle East and India . Its chief executive Mahesh Jagtiani already owns 3 percent of the chain. New Look executives could not be reached for comment.
New Look, currently owned by Apax and Permira, asked Merrill Lynch to examine its options last month. An IPO was ruled out. New Look was taken private in 2004 for £699 million and the fashion retailer's chief executive Phil Wrigley would prefer to stay private while the company continues to expand abroad. New Look is already active in Belgium and France. Since its privatisation in 2004, New Look has seen its retail space increase by 50 percent. It has also expanded its offering to include menswear and children's fashion. Last year the chain completed a second refinancing with £350 million worth of PIK (payment-in-kind) notes.
16 April 2007
Kelly Brook new face of New Look
Kelly Brook has returned to her modelling roots in a sexy advertising campaign for the New Look swimwear range, which goes on sale this summer. The sexy range is inspired by the Hollywood glamour of the 1950's.
The 27-year-old actress/TV presenter worked as an underwear model before she hit the big time when she was picked to replace Denise Van Outen as Johnny Vaughan's co-presenter on Channel 4's The Big Breakfast. Brook , who helped to design the swimsuits, recently denied reports that her relationship with Hollywood star Billy Zane is on the rocks.
11 April 2007
New Look in bid
High street fashion chain New Look has gained a serious bid interest from Warburg Pincus and has been hoping to attract bids in the £2 bn range. The Sunday Times disclosed six weeks ago that New Look's current owners, the private-equity groups Apax and Permira, were considering a sale of the retailer. They had received an approach from Texas Pacific Group. It later emerged that bid plans were also being put together by the Dubai-based Landmark Group, headed by Mahesh ''Micky'' Jagtiani. Landmark owns 3% of New Look.
With Warburg Pincus now unveiled as the third likely bidder, it seems inevitable that New Look, Britain's third-largest retailer of women's fashion, will end up in foreign hands. New Look was taken private three years ago in a £700m deal backed by the company's founder, Tom Singh, and led by the group's chief executive, Phil Wrigley. The company recently hired the accountancy firm Ernst & Young to help draw up an international expansion strategy after signing a five-year deal with Landmark to open 40 stores in the Middle East through a franchise agreement.
8 April 2007
Landmark courting New Look
The Dubai-based Landmark Group is said to be courting fashion retailer New Look. Last week the British high-street retailer revealed that it was mulling over various options, such as a possible floatation on the London Stock Exchange or a sale to another private equity firm. The Dubai-based retailer told the Scotsman that it was in talks with New Look to purchase the company in a deal valued at £2 billion. “That is definitely a possibility,” said Jayesh Ravindranath, Landmark's head of corporate marketing. Landmark's owner Mahesh Jagtiani currently owns 3 percent of New Look.
6 March 2007
Suitors in line for New Look
At least three companies have shown interest in acquiring high street fashion retailer New Look. The company, which was taken private in 2004 for £699 million, has, in the past, referred to a possible flotation, but an eventual sale has not been ruled out. Buy-out firms including Texas Pacific Group have approached Apax and Permira, the current private equity owners. According to the FT, insiders claim that the company will most likely be sold to a private equity group in a secondary buy-out. A flotation might not be the most auspicious strategy, particularly given Debenhams' recent weak share price. The department store group floated a year ago.
In January, New Look chief executive Phil Wrigley told the FT that the company might return to the London Stock Exchange this fall. “This time last year, I was neutral to negative about (an initial public offering) because we still had a lot to do,” he said. “The strength of trading recently opens up options for our investors.” Since being taken private three years ago, the chain has grown considerably, expanding its trading space by 50 percent. New Look is currently the third-largest women's wear retailer in the UK. The company declined to comment on rumours of a possible sale.
28 February 2007
New Look buyout highly successful
High street fashion chain New Look is back in the news this week as private-equity practitioners are expected to highlight the company as one of the biggest success stories among UK buyout deals in recent history. Since it was taken private in a £700m deal led by founder Tom Singh three years ago, its workforce has grown from 12,000 to 15,000 and capital expenditure on expanding the business has risen from £99m in March 2004 to £230m at December 2006
No formal sale process has begun and no bankers have yet been lined up to handle the disposal. The private-equity groups are thought to have placed a £2 billion valuation on New Look, but it is unclear at what level the approaches have been pitched. Insiders were also keen to stress that nothing had been ruled out and all options, including keeping the business and a float, were still possible. Designer Giles Deacon is set to unveil his collaboration with the high street company in March.
26 February 2007
Lily Allen designs New Look collection
London's newest pop sensation, Lily Allen, is to design a fashion collection for New Look, the high street retailer. The range, entitled Lily Loves, will go on sale in 312 of the retailer's stores in the UK, France, Belgium, Ireland and Dubai in May.
Allen is the latest in a line of celebrities to be signed up by high street fashion retailers. Drew Barrymore, the Hollywood actress, will become the face of New Look's Giles Deacon-designed range next month. Meanwhile Topshop, the high street chain owned by Sir Philip Green, will launch its Kate Moss-designed range in April, a month after H&M, the Swedish retailer, unveils its M collection by singer Madonna.
19 February 2007
Giles Deacon designs for New Look
Giles Deacon, the darling of the London fashion scene, is going to design a capsule collection for high street fashion chain New Look. The collection is called Gold and will launch at 50 of the chain's stores in the UK and overseas – Paris , Antwerp , Dublin and Dubai – in mid-March.
“I really wanted to do a long-term collaboration, and New Look doesn't have a huge stable of designers,” Deacon said. “And they're terrific to work with – they just really get it.” The collection will consist of about 35 pieces, including dresses for day and evening, jeans and T-shirts, coats, jackets, trousers and a full range of accessories. “We've worked with designers like Luella Bartley and Eley Kishimoto, but never on such a large scale,” says Sarah Walter, head of fashion communications for the company. “We used to be a bit cautious about these types of collaborations, launching only limited ranges, but we're much more confident now.” Deacon has been signed to design for collections a year for one year, with an option to renew the contract for another two years.
The designer is joining the growing number of high-profile designers to collaborate with high street fashion chains, including the latest collection for H&M by Dutch design duo Viktor & Rolf, which will be unveiled this week, and the range designed by Roland Mouret for Gap. Deacon is different in that his collaboration with New Look will be long term. “We've struck gold with him,” says Walter. “He's such a hard worker, a really lovely man and he has a great team.” New Look is further committing to the collaboration by launching an ad campaign starring a Hollywood A-lister. Walter said her identity is still a secret, although WWD has identified her as Drew Barrymore. The company is also investing a merchandising for the collection, including T-shirts and bags.
Pricing is very reasonable, with the highest priced item a beaded dress for £90, coats for about £50 and jewellery starting at £5 and sunglasses retailing for £10. “This is for everyone,” says Walter.
7 November 2006
Buxom Brook launches lingerie
Model, television presenter, actress and designer. Kelly Brook is a quadruple threat. The British beauty has turned her attention to lingerie with the launch of her own lingerie collection. Brook, whose voluptuous frame has frequently been photographed in skimpy lingerie, helped design the line for high street store New Look. Earlier this year she launched a range of swimwear for New Look.
“My swimwear range was such a huge success, and I really enjoyed working with the New Look design team, that we wanted to extend the partnership with a new collection,” she said. “Lingerie not only seemed like the natural choice, but was something I personally had a passion for designing – beautiful, sexy underwear at an accessible, affordable price.” The collection, which features sensual fabrics like satin and silk in a range of colours from silver and black to peacock blue and red, will be sold in 150 New Look stores from this month.
18 October 2006
New Look eyeing overseas expansion
New Look is the latest retailer to examine overseas markets in a bid to escape slowing sales growth on the British high street. The privately owned fashion retailer is considering opening stores in the emerging markets of central Europe as it looks to expand its operations beyond its core UK chain.
It joins a growing band of British retailers venturing overseas in search of growth. This week Carphone Warehouse, the mobile phone retailer, is expected to unveil plans to open stores in America through a joint venture with Best Buy, the US chain. At the same time Sir Philip Green, the owner of the Arcadia and Bhs fashion groups, is looking for a flagship site for TopShop in New York , and Tesco, the supermarket, is plotting an assault on America 's west coast. New Look already has a presence overseas. Last week the retailer, which has shops in France and Belgium , opened an outlet in Dubai – the first of up to 40 in the Middle East – and has not ruled out a move to the US over the long term.
Phil Wrigley, New Look's chief executive, said his team had spotted huge potential in central Europe. Although New Look will assess the performance of its French operations before committing to sites in central Europe, the economic argument is hard to resist. However, British retailers are notorious for getting things wrong overseas. Tesco, DSG, J Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer have all made ignoble exits from foreign ventures. One of the reasons is that retailers open concepts that have not been tailored to the markets.
24 September 2006
New Look toughens supplier stance
Privately-held fashion chain New Look has informed its suppliers that it is extending its payment terms from 60 days to 75 days from July onward. Managing director of finance and services at the retailer, Alastair Miller, told suppliers that the company needed to change its terms due to an “increased investment in new space”. New Look is currently expanding rapidly throughout the UK as well as into France and Belgium .
With increased expansion and capital expenditure, Miller told the FT that suppliers would eventually benefit through volume increases. Other retail chains like Asda, Debenhams and Matalan are also toughening their stance on supplier terms.
31 May 2006
New Look owners see £350m bonus
The Owners of New Look are to enjoy a £350m windfall, lengthening the odds on the company’s imminent return to the stock market. Apax Partners and Permira along with Tom Singh, the company’s founder have enlisted Goldman Sachs to explore a refinancing of the business. Sources close to the situation said the probable refinancing would consist of a payment in kind note that would allow the investors to cash out part of their stakes in the company.
7 May 2006
New Look for Primark
Value store Primark is set to unveil a new look when it opens at the MetroCentre in Gateshead next month.The new look is to take its store design to the next stage after opening in Leeds, Bromley and Lakeside in Kent. It will act as a basis for developing the retailer's 100,000sq ft Oxford Street store. The London flaship site is believed to include an eight-metre high glass frontage but will not open until next March.
Primark is investing £700m in 46 new outlets in the next 12 months, which sill double its UK selling space from 1.8m sq ft to 3.6m sq ft. All the stores are expected to be trading by Christmas, with the exception of the London flagship.
Like-for-like sales for the 24 weeks to March 4th, according to Draper's Record, were up 6 per cent on last year's sales. Turnover rose 18 per cent to £530m and operating profits jumped 20 per cent to £71m.
The company is in the final stages of rebuilding its distribution centre at Magna Park in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, after it was destroyed by fire last November. Its first international store will open in Madrid in Spain in May, with stock managed by its Penneys operation based in Dublin.23 April 2006
Continental expansion plans for New Look
British clothing retailer New Look plans to open at least 12 new stores in Belgium and France this year. After opening branches in Paris and Bruges, chief executive Phil Wrigley said that the second phase of trials for the company outside Britain would begin.
The company already operates the Mim chain in France, which counts 228 stores and is a “strong” business according to Wrigley. About 20 Mim store openings are in the pipeline for this year, although New Look is also looking into how the two chains can work side by side.
“There could be an opportunity to develop along the Inditex (Zara owner) model, with brands focused on different customers,” Wrigley told The Scotsman. He added that New Look had strong ties with India and had received a “huge number of approaches” from potential franchisees. He also said that he was contemplating a possible franchise agreement in the Middle East this year.
In its domestic market, New Look will open 38 converted Littlewood stores this year and will expand into out-of-town retail parks. The company is planning to add more than 200,000 square feet of retail space in 2006.
19 April 2006
New Look opens European trial stores
The UK's third-largest retailer New Look is set to open six trial stores in France and Belgium. Chief executive Phil Wrigley said that the retailer would spend about £6 million on the opening of four stores in France and two in Belgium next spring.
Wrigley said that New Look could operate 50 to 60 outlets in France and up to 10 stores in Belgium. He added that the company has plans to open stores in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Eastern Europe, and is even contemplating franchises in the Middle East and Asia.
“Eastern Europe is growing very quickly, there is demand in countries like Poland and H&M have opened some stores (in Eastern Europe) – it is nice not to be at the leading edge,” he told the FT.
The company already has a presence of 212 smaller fashion boutiques trading under the brand Mim in France. It believes that New Look and Mim can trade along-side each other.
British retailers are increasingly looking to enter new markets as they face intense competition and price deflation in their home market. New Look's ambitious international expansion plans reflect this tendency. Companies like Tesco and DSG International have been pushing expansion into Eastern Europe and South-East Asia for over a decade.
Wrigley told the FT that British retailers could succeed overseas. “It is not true that UK retailers don't do well overseas. Look at what Mothercare has done in Russia. Credit to Napoleon when he said we were a nation of shopkeepers. We are not just a nation of shopkeepers in the UK – we are a nation that does well outside as well, when we listen to consumers,” he said.
Wrigley denied that the expansion plans were a prelude to New Look going public again. The business was taken private in 2004 for £699 million. He was vague about a flotation taking place next year.
New Look is now worth between £1 billion and £1.5 billion, according to Wrigley.
17 November 2005
New Look invests in anti-theft technology
British fashion chain New Look is investing in new technology to help combat potential theft and the possible loss of stock worth £4 million, according to a media report.
The retailer is launching RFID (radio frequency identification) tags on clothing this month, which should help reduce stock loss in the distribution chain and minimize theft in the stores. Next month, the company will add specialist software to monitor till transactions.
“We are losing £4 million a year that we should not be losing,” chief executive, Phil Wrigley, told Computing .“We know the scale of the problem is amounting to big bucks because we have information from our stock takes. This software will minimise loss across the organisation,” said the company's finance and IT director, Will Kernan.
10 November 2005
New Look to double in size
New Look, the high street fashion retailer, has drawn up ambitious plans to more than double the size of its UK chain. Phil Wrigley, New Look's chief executive, revealed the expansion plans to The Sunday Telegraph just days after the retailer acquired 34 former Littlewoods stores from Associated British Foods, which owns the Primark chain. The deal increased New Look's trading space in the UK from 1.6m sq ft to 2.4m sq ft.
However, New Look no plans to more than double its store space to 5m sq ft over the next decade as it capitalises on the growing demand from consumers for cheap fashion and the successful launch of its mensewear range. If New Look, which has 541 stores in the UK and 211 in France, succeeds in its expansion plan, the UK chain would be bigger than the current size of Next, its larger clothing rival.
Wrigley said the retailer would concentrate on opening large outlets of around 25,000 sq ft. New Look has already increased its floor space by 50 per cent since its founder, Tom Sing, took it private 20 months ago with backing from Apax and Permira, the private equity houses. The business has been refinanced and could be floated on the stock market in 2006.
24 October 2005
New Look acquires Littlewoods stores
British high street fashion chain New Look group has purchased 34 stores from the Littlewoods chain owned by retail group Associated British Foods. New Look is looking to boost its retail space to 2.4 million square feet by March 2006 from 1.6 million square feet last year.
“This is a great deal and enables us to bring the New Look brand to more customers and reinforce our position as the third largest women's retailer in the country,” said chief executive Phil Wrigley.
Earlier this year, New Look withdrew from the bidding for Littlewoods, leaving the chain of stores to be bought by Associated British Foods, which operates discount chain Primark.
24 October 2005
New Look ready for international expansion
High street fashion chain New Look is looking towards markets overseas as it strives to become a global fashion brand. The first country outside of the United Kingdom that will see its own stores is France, where about five stores will open either later this year or next spring.
Plans for the expansion of the chain go beyond Europe, however, and the retailer is also in talks with franchise partners to take the brand to India, the Middle East, China and eastern Europe.
1 June 2005
New Look New Chairman
British high-street fashion retailer, New Look, has appointed a new chairman. Richard Lapthorne will be joining the company from the telecommunications giant Cable & Wireless, where he currently serves as chairman. This new development has stirred up suspicion that the company may be returning to the stock market. New Look was purchased - and taken private - by a private equity consortium in 2004 for GBP 700 million.
18 January 2005
Fur boost sales at New Look
Customer demand for fur-trimmed ranges have helped New Look drive strong sales in the run-up to Christmas. The fashion retailer reported total UK sales for the 14 weeks to January 1 up 18.8 per cent, with like-for-like sales up 11.6 per cent.
The company said strong customer demand for fake fur, mini-skirts, denim and rhinestone-studded ranges boosted sales. After a successful launch, New Look plans to extend its menswear ranges from 14 to 30 stores and is also planning to extend its fashion ranges to cater for children under nine.
Expansion plans call for larger stores, with the largest New Look store to date scheduled to open at the Metro Centre in Gateshead. There are also plans for a revamp of the flagship Oxford Street store, launched in August 2003.
5 January 2005
Happy Progress at New Look
Fashion retailer New Look reported 'strong progress' in its transformation - eight months after a £700 million takeover. New Look said changes to its distribution network and design team contributed to an 18.8% rise in total sales during the 14 weeks to New Year's Day. Like-for-like sales were up 11.6% in the UK as its success during the run-up to Christmas continued into the sale period, with margins ahead of last year.
New Look - the UK's fourth-largest womenswear retailer after M&S, Next and Debenhams- has doubled the number of designers working on new ranges to 22 and has also strengthened its buying and merchandising team. The company has more than 500 outlets in the UK and a further 200 in France where it is trailing new formats and larger stores as well as extending product ranges. In France New Look goes by the name of Mim.
Chief executive Phil Wrigley said: "Our customers have taken to our initiatives well and our results today reflect the strong progress we have made. In 2005 we will build on this progress and look to further strengthen our brand and scale of the business."
Founder Tom Singh with the backing of private equity houses Permira and Apax Partners took new Look private in April last year. In its first results since that deal, New Look reported sales growth of 17.4% in the six months to September 25 and an 8.2% hike in like-for-like sales in the UK.
4 January 2005
New Look revamps flagship
Fashion retailer New Look is to close its flagship store for a complete revamp only 18 months after its launch. The Oxford Street shop cost £3m to transform into a space age, colourful fashion store and was praised by design critics. And while sales targets surpassed expectancies, the warehouse styling was not popular with some customers. Chief executive Phil Wrigley said the decision to close the store for two weeks in the Spring was not a disaster, but rather a "celebration of success".
20 December 2004
Sales Up For New Look
New Look, the fashion retailer, has seen like-for-like sales rise by 8.2 per cent since it was taken private in April. Total sales rose by 17.4 per cent in the six months to September 25 and the retailer is on track to make a pre-tax profit of around £95m for the full year, according to Phil Wrigley, New Look's chief executive. Over the past 10 weeks, like-for-like sales rose by more than 10 per cent at the 520-strong chain.
11 October 2004
New Look Exec Joins Sports Retailer
Stephen Sunnucks, former chief executive of New Look, has joined ski and surf clothes retailer Fat Face as a non-executive director. The appointment is seen as a move to strengthen the Fat Face board as the retailer, which now operates 83 stores in the UK, draws up plans for a stock market float.
In the year to the end of May, Fat Face saw sales increase by 48 per cent to GBP45m, with a 41 per cent rise in operating profits to GBP4.2m. The company, which is majority owned by its founders, Tim Slade and Jules Leaver, opened 22 stores across the year. Venture capital group Isis also has a stake in the business.
Chief executive Louise Barnes said: "We are continuing to deliver on our ambitious growth strategy for the brand, have opened new stores in Dublin and Gatwick and plan to have over 100 stores in the UK and internationally within the next year." She said that Sunnucks' appointment would help to take the business to the next stage of its development, with a target of 150 stores over the next few years.
Sunnucks said: "Fat Face is already the leading active lifestyle brand in the UK and has a great future ahead of it. It is a strong business, and has the foundations in place to become a significant retailer in the future. I look forward to being a part of the team."
1 September 2004
New Look To Go Private
In a move to go private, high street retailer New Look is to end its stock market listing and will be suspending trading its shares. Founder Tom Singh, who is buying the company by a consortium, will see him hold a 23 per cent stake under the GBP699m deal.
The retailer is to seek a delisting of its shares as a court process to facilitate the buy out has been completed. Aside from Singh's stake, the rest of the equity will be split between New Look's management as well as two venture capital firms, namely Permira and Apax Partners.
Founder Singh has on occasion let it know that he believes the market has undervalued the business. Other UK retailers to have left the stock market over the past 18 months include Arcadia, Allders, Debenhams, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
5 April 2004
New Look Back In Private Hands
Fashion retailers New Look announced yesterday that shareholders voted in favour
of an acquisition of the company by Trinitybrook plc. The scheme takes the company
back into private hands and confirms the reduction of New Look's share capital,
the hearings of which will take place on 29 March and 1 April.
16 March 2004
Good Results For New Look
The total UK sales for New Look for the eight weeks to 22 November 2003 were 10.0 per cent higher than the corresponding period last year. Like for like sales were down 0.8 per cent and the gross margin was down 1.9 percentage points primarily due to the planned reinstatement of the mid season sale.
The encouraging start to the autumn season continued through to early November but has been offset by weaker trading in recent weeks reflecting generally more difficult market conditions.
Stephen Sunnucks, Chief Executive, New Look, commented: "I'm pleased to
report good earnings growth for the first half which reflects our tight management
of costs and margin, despite a challenging sales period. We have been encouraged by the positive response to our autumn/winter ranges, but trading conditions have been generally more difficult during the last few weeks. Overall we are making good progress with our strategy, which remains firmly on track."
26 November 2003
New Look Gets Real
New Look will roll out directional young fashion brand Miss Real, which launched in its London Oxford Street flagship last month. The brand will be available in 16 of its larger stores from next week, and will be given a dedicated area in-store.
11 November 2003
New Look talks over takeover
According to reports New Look founder Tom Singh is in talks with venture capitalist Apax Partners about making a bid for the high street chain. Singh is said to have been talking with Apax for some time. Other venture capitalists zre also discussing providing equity to back the buyout. Singh, the major shareholder in New Look, said earlier this month that he was in preliminary discussions with potential providers of finance. Singh has appointed investment bank Deutsche Bank to review options for his family's stake.
The Daily Telegraph reports that chief executive Stephen Sunnucks and other New Look senior management will wait to see the terms of any offer by Singh before deciding whether to be involved in a buyout for the company.
August 21 2003
New Look For New Look
New Look's New London flagship store is a 15,000sq ft futuristic space, due to open August 21st. The shop design was done by Future Systems, the hip architects that have been commissioned to turn the Marble Arch store into an ultra modern shopping experience. First to gain your attention will be the ball-bearing studded floor and padded gold leather lingerie wall. After that the clothes, some of which are exclusive ranges designed by Eley Kishimoto and Luella will certainly excite you as they don't come much more affordable and fashionable than this.
500 Oxford Street, W1 020 7534 2000
13 August 2003
New Look founder may take fashion chain private
TOM SINGH, the biggest shareholder in the New Look fashion chain, is expected to confirm this week that he is considering making an offer for the firm he founded more than 30 years ago.
Last month, New Look announced that Singh had appointed an adviser, believed to be Deutsche Bank, to review the options for his 28% shareholding in the business. On Friday, New Look's shares rose from 288p to a record high of 315p on fresh speculation of an imminent bid. The company is now valued at £633m.
There has been speculation that the executive directors of New Look, led by chief executive Stephen Sunnucks, would like to stage a management buyout of the business and a number of private-equity houses are said to be looking at the company. However, industry sources said Sunnucks had not decided whether to go for a buyout. He is believed to be on holiday with his family this weekend.
Singh founded New Look 34 years ago with a single shop in Taunton, Somerset. Today the chain has almost 500 stores in Britain and more than 130 in France.
4 August 2003
New Look share price
New look, performing well on the high street and in the city for the past 12 months, managed to reach its highest ever share price last week, before surging ahead on takeover speculation. News that the stake owned by founder Tom Singh may be up for grabs saw it peak past the 300p barrier, but drop back a little finish up 36p to 291p per share.
24 July 2003
New Look hopeful
New Look has seen the benefits of the recent improvement in the UK retail market, with positive like-for-like sales in the seven weeks to July 12. UK sales were up 0.1 per cent over the seven weeks, compared to a 6.6 per cent fal in the eight weeks to May 24. Total UK sales for the most recent seven weeks were up 7.1 per cent. Over the fifteen weeks to July 12m total UK sales were up 2.8 per cent, with like-for-likes down 3. per cent. New Look, which has bemoaned the effects of price deflation in the clothing retail market this year, also saw its gross margin fall slightly over the 15 weeks, down by 0.2 per cent.
Chief executive Stephen Sunnucks said: "We are pleased that trading has improved over the last seven weeks in spite of continuing strong comparatives. Our strategy remains on track and we are confident it will deliver continued progress." New Look has been rumoured to be the target of a possible bid in recent weeks, with speculation fuelled by the news that that founder Tom Singh is considering selling his family's 28 per cent stake in the business.
June 17, 2003
New Look for Older Customers
High street chain New Look has conducted market research into what an older customer wants from value fashion. Managing director Phil Wrigley said the chain had completed some initial research into an "older" customer profile, but there are no immediate plans to launch a new line.
New Look's core customer profile ranges from tweens to women in their forties. Wrigley stated: "We have our hands full at the moment with the launch of New Look menswear. We have looked into possibilities but it has been research rather than a planned launch. We recognise that there is a demand for fashion value among older customers."
The menswear range is initially to be placed in 10 of New Looks stores this autumn. The chain has revealed more artists' impressions of its Oxford Street flagship store in London. Agency Future Systems created the store design.
1 July 2003
New Look Shares Sold
T. Singh, a non-executive director of New Look plc have notified the Company that the family have sold 408,452 ordinary shares of the Company at a price of 81 pence per ordinary share. The sale was obligatory as a result of the exercise of options granted to certain senior employees in 2000 pursuant to the family option scheme.
This sale of 408,452 ordinary shares of the Company, which was effected on 16 June 2003, has reduced the family shareholding from 55,159,901 to 54,751,449 ordinary shares. The Singh family holding now represents 27.35% of ordinary shares in the Company, having previously represented 27.55%.
18 June 2003
New Look looks to expand
British budget fashion retailer New Look could move into menswear or childerswear
as early as next year. Stephen Sunnucks, Chief Executive, told Dow Jones Newswires
on Thursday that New Look is looking at new product categories.
"There are other areas (than womenswear) that we have to look at quite carefully. It might be menswear, it might be kidswear," Sunnucks said. He said that any new category launch is still in the evaluation stages, adding that the first product might be tested as part of next year's spring ranges, but that it would take a season or two to determine the potential.
March 8, 2003
New Look reshuffles management
British leading fashion retailer New Look announced changes in the roles of the Executive Management team this week, which will implemented immediately. The changes are the result of a review conducted by Stephen Sunnucks, Chief Executive to ensure successful structural and growth results
Phil Wrigley, Managing Director, will take on additional responsibility for operations, property and human resources. Carl McPhail, Group Operations Director will become Group Development Director and Alastair Miller remains Finance Director of the Group.
Stephen Sunnucks, Chief Executive, said: "Over the last three years we have built a strong team which has been successful in delivering New Look's transformation and positioning the Group as a leading value fashion retailer. These changes in management roles enable us to remain focused on delivering our stated strategy whilst providing the structure to support the next phase of growth."
March 7, 2003
Strong results New Look
British clothing retailer New Look reported a strong trading performance for the 15 weeks to 11 January of this year. Total UK sales were up 11.2% compared to of the same period last year and 8.0% up on a like-for-like basis. Gross margins were 0.4 percentage points lower than last year.
For the 7 week period to 11 January 2003, total UK sales increased by 9.2% compared to the same period last year with UK like-for-like sales up 5.1%. Gross margins were 1.3 percentage points lower than last year. This was due to a shift in the Christmas trading pattern compared to the previous year, with some deferral of customer demand from before Christmas to the sale period immediately after. Seasonal stocks are in line with our expectations, level with last year.
Stephen Sunnucks, Chief Executive of New Look, said: This is a strong trading performance, which is particularly pleasing when set against comparatives for sales and margins last year. We have achieved this, whilst continuing to make good progress in reducing costs. Looking ahead, we are confident that New Look is on track to deliver significant growth this year, in line with expectations.
January 15, 2003
New Look increases sales
Value fashion is proving to be the fastest growing sector of the UK clothing market. Fashion retailer New Look this week presented a 14 percent sales increase for the first half ended September 28th. The group reported sales of GBP 315 million this year, compared to GBP 276.3 million in 2001. Group profit before tax is up by 64.5% to GBP 44.9 million, GBP 27.3 million last year.
Chief Executive Stephen Sunnucks commented: We have successfully repositioned New Look at the forefront of value fashion, which is the fastest growing sector of the UK clothing market. Our sales growth, which has been achieved against a backdrop of tight cost control, is due to further improvement in the quality and breadth of appeal of our product ranges. This has been complemented by the successful rollout of our store programme, Project Heartland and Project 300, which remain on track and are exceeding profit expectations. Looking forward, we remain vigilant about the outlook for market conditions, but are confident of the continuing success of our strategy.
Within the UK, sales increased by 12.8% to GBP 283 million. Last year this was GBP 250.8 million. In France, sales increased by 25.5% to GBP 32.0 million (GBP 25.5 million for 2001) this was chiefly driven by 17 new Mim store openings.
Value fashion is the fastest growing sector of the UK clothing market, with value retailers growing at a compound annual rate of nearly 16% since 1996. In this dynamic sector, New Look is implementing its strategy for growth through a programme that combines stores, product and supply chain, driving both new space and underlying sales.
November 27, 2002
New Look makeover proves successful
Women's fashion chain New Look said it expects pre-tax profits to surge 38
per cent this year due to strong sales. The operator of around 480 stores in
the UK said that a strong first-half performance here and its joint venture
in France means group pre-tax profit for the six months ended September 28 will
be at least GBP 44 million.
New Look announced total domestic sales during the 26-week period were up 12 per cent, with same-store sales up 8.7 per cent. Gross profit margin was up 2.2 percentage points thanks to fewer discounts.
Chief executive Stephen Sunnucks attributed the growth to the group's ongoing
overhaul. New Look, based in Weymouth, Dorset, launched the programme a year
ago after sales and profits came under pressure. It has focused on larger stores
and given others a facelift while improving the supply chain and the quality
of its clothing.
Mr Sunnucks, who joined the company two years ago, said: "Our continued strong performance demonstrates that our strategy to improve our stores and product, to shorten our supply chain and to keep costs tight is delivering superior growth. "While we remain vigilant about market conditions we are confident that we will continue to drive the business forward."
The company will report interim figures at the end of next month.
October 3, 2002