New Look plans menswear move


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The Independent Online

New Look is planning a major push into menswear this year after poaching the menswear chief from its rival H&M.

The high street fashion chain today reported a rise in sales after customers flocked to its stores in record numbers; and its chief executive, Anders Kristiansen, said its expansion into China is moving faster than expected.

He said: “I’m very bullish about the future. We had 19 stores [in China] by the end of March; by the end of May we had 30 stores, and we’ve got another 40 in the pipeline.

“The move into menswear is also important for us, and the fact we’ve taken on Christopher Englinde [from H&M] as director of menswear shows how serious we are about it.”

New Look was bought by the private equity firm Brait for £1.9bn last month, and the new owners were rewarded with UK like-for-like sales rising 5 per cent and online sales rising 34 per cent. Total revenues hit £1.41bn, up 3.4 per cent, with pre-tax profits more than doubling from £20.7m to £50.6m.

Mr Kristiansen added New Look had not been affected by recent cooler weather and said he was well prepared, with a wider range of products on sale, should the summer fail to live up to expectations.