London - High street retailer New Look is seeking to cut its store rents by up to 60 percent as part of a rescue plan to tackle its 1.2 billion pound debt. At the same time the fashion retailer is also keen to offload its loss-making stores in the UK as its finance director, Richard Collyer, reaches out to its landlords.

New Look is understood to be seeking out a company voluntary agreement (CVA) which would enable it to shutter underperforming stores and negotiate rent reductions on its remaining stores. The fashion retailer is said to have divided its 600 store portfolio into three groups based on their performance, according to Retail Week.

The plan would see New Look paying landlords 40 percent of the rent due on the 70 worst performing stores, reserving the right to shut them down. The retailer is then seeking of store rent cuts of between 20 percent and 60 percent for three years on another 380 stores, while the top 150 stores would not be affected.

However, New Look must first secure approval from its bondholders before it can proceed with a CVA, as it backed by private equity. The fashion retailer noted that it has yet to make any final decisions concerning a CVA.


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