October 18, 2018 / 8:04 AM / a month ago

UK fashion retailer New Look to exit China, close 120 stores

FILE PHOTO: New Look cloth tags are seen in a box at the Indochine Apparel PLC textile factory in Hawassa Industrial Park in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples region, Ethiopia November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

LONDON (Reuters) - British fashion group New Look is to exit China and will close its remaining 120 stores there by the end of the year, it said on Thursday.

New Look, which is owned by South African investment firm Brait (BATJ.J), trades as New Look Commerce (Shanghai) Co. Limited in China. It said the company’s Shanghai head office will close in the new year.

The decision to exit China is part of a review of New Look’s international strategy, which is continuing.

In March New Look staved off a potential collapse into administration when British creditors and landlords backed a restructuring plan enabling it to close 60 UK stores.

“Despite substantial investments in China in recent years, performance has been below expectations and this business has not achieved the necessary sales and profitability to support the significant future investment required to continue these operations,” the retailer said.

New Look said it will ensure obligations to suppliers, landlords, government and other authorities in China are concluded satisfactorily, and will support all affected staff.

Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle

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