After the departure of River Island, New Look is the latest fashion chain to leave Belgium. The British company has filed for bankruptcy for its Belgian activities. New Look only has six stores left in the country.
“Unable to continue trading”
New Look has concluded that it is "unable to continue trading, and has determined to wind up its operations". Its performance in Belgium "has been below expectations and the business has not achieved the necessary sales and profitability to continue its ongoing operations on a standalone basis", according to Fashion Network.
New Look has been in financial trouble for a number of years. The fashion chain closed a large amount of Belgian stores earlier on, leaving only six stores for now. The bankruptcy proceedings have started at the Enterprise Division of the courts in Brussels this Wednesday.
The strategic review of other international markets is still continuing: it is quite possible the brand will soon be leaving any other countries too. New Look recently made a deal with investors to hand over control over the company in exchange for a refinancing loan for several billion pounds of debt.
The news comes only a few days after the announcement that British competitor River Island will be closing its stores in Belgium and the Netherlands due to bad sales. Two hard blows in almost as many days to Antwerp's main shopping street, the Meir. Retailers in that street have already announced to strike back by reinventing their street as a future-proof 'experience street'...