Fast fashion retailer New Look is to launch its own standalone menswear stores in the UK, with the first five branches expected to be open by the end of the current financial year.
The retailer, which is in the middle of a turnaround under chief executive Anders Kristiansen, has been dipping its toe in the water for some months, having trialled new menswear ranges and a store-in-store concept in its Oxford Circus flagship, among other locations.
It has also hired a new menswear director – Christopher Englinde – who will join from H&M in September.
Roger Wightman, chief creative officer said: “Menswear is a key strategic priority for New Look, and the opening of menswear standalone stores represents a natural next step for us. We are very proud of the improvements made to our offer over the past two years - the opening of menswear standalone stores will allow us to more fully showcase the enhanced quality of our product ranges.”
The move has been widely anticipated as part of measures being brought in by Kristiansen – who before joining New Look was vice chief executive of Danish business Bestseller, which owns menswear brands such as Jack & Jones as well as womenswear labels such as Vera Moda.
It comes as New Look reveals revenues up 4.3 per cent to £369.8m for the first quarter of its financial year.
UK like-for-likes were up 4.1 per cent, while own website sales were up 38.7 per cent. Adjusted EBITDA was up two per cent to £61.1m, while underlying operating profit was up 6.8 per cent to £47.3m.
Profit before tax rose nine per cent to £19.3m.
Kristiansen said: “These strong results demonstrate New Look’s ongoing progress during a quarter in which we have changed ownership and refinanced the business. Further UK sales growth is particularly encouraging, whilst our latest successful store openings in China ensure our expansion plans continue on track.
“While the consumer environment remains unpredictable, we continue to manage the business accordingly.”