New Look brings back Alistair McGeorge as executive chair as sales continue to decline

Alys Key
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New Look has almost 900 stores (Source: Geograph)

New Look's former chairman has been parachuted back into the business in a bid to rescue the brand after another period of sales decline.

The group reported a like-for-like sales drop of 8.4 per cent in the first half this morning. Digital sales were down 7.6 er cent, though third party e-commerce sales through site like Asos were up 17 per cent.

Underlying earnings plummeted to £24.2m, compared to £86.9m last year. The group made a loss after tax of £72.7m.

Read more: Investors look for a deal on New Look's public debt

In the face of rapidly declining sales, the New Look board has brought back Alistair McGeorge, who previously served as executive chairman between 2011 and 2013. He is set to resume his old job immediately while Danny Barrasso, who had been serving as interim CEO, will step back to his role as UK MD.

"Having previously led New Look through a period of recovery from 2011, Alistair has invaluable experience and the requisite expertise to help get the business moving forward again," explained non-executive director John Gnodde.

New Look has 896 stores, 300 of which are outside the UK.

Read more: This online retailer aims to score better margins than Boohoo and Asos

Setting out his plans, McGeorge said the company was suffering from a "challenging retail environment".

"Whilst we're not anticipating a reversal in fortunes overnight, I am confident we will implement the necessary changes to get the company back on track.

"We will focus on ensuring that we buy into the right trends with the right product, have an efficient supply chain, and provide customers with great value."

Read more: New Look's founder in £1.2m funding round for sportswear brand Castore

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