New Look China powers ahead

New Look China sales are soaring on the back of a rapid mainland rollout of the UK fashion brand.

Globally, New Look recorded a stellar rise in both sales and profits in the first half of this financial year – driven by fast growth in China and the successful launch of the fast fashion brand’s first standalone menswear stores

New Look was bought by South African investment company Brait in June, which said at the time a focus on Chinese expansion was a priority. In the last six months it has opened 52 stores in China and has signed leases for a further 33 stores scheduled to open by next March.

Sales for the 26 weeks to September 26 climbed 5.9 per cent to £756 million. Pre-tax profit climbed 40.6 per cent, despite a whopping  £93.2 million bill for costs relating to the takeover of the business.

“Our Chinese stores continue to perform well as customers continue to react favourably to our fashion-forward offer,” CEO Anders Kristiansen said in the company’s results statement. “We remain on target to have 85 stores open in the country by [financial] year end.

“With the support of our new owners, Brait, we are planning to increase investment in our strategic initiatives to accelerate our growth,” he said.

Globally, New Look has 385 stores, and it plans to continue to open more in its home market. It also plans to continue to grow its online business. Some 31 per cent of New Look customers buying online use the ‘click and collect’ service – collecting their purchases in a physical store rather than waiting for delivery.

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