Two stores in Reading – at Broad Street and the Oracle – will be shut as New Look goes into company voluntary administration (CVA). Also due to close are stores at Fleet and Maidenhead.
The proposal also seeks a reduction in rental costs and revised lease terms across 393 stores.
Redundancies from potential store closures are expected to affect a maximum of 980 members of New Look’s 15,300 staff in the UK.
New Look is seeking creditor approval on the proposal on March 21.
All UK stores will remain open during the period of the proposal and the company’s online sales channel will be unaffected.
Daniel Butters and Neville Kahn of Deloitte LLP have been appointed as nominees to the CVA. CBRE is advising on the stores portfolio.
Alistair McGeorge, executive chairman of New Look, said: “Given our challenged trading performance and over-rented UK store estate, we are having to take tough but necessary actions to reduce our fixed cost base and restore long term profitability.
“We have held constructive discussions with our key landlords and strategic partners and will now seek creditor approval on our CVA proposal. A priority for us is to keep all potentially affected colleagues informed during this difficult time.
“The retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging, driven by weaker consumer confidence, the implications of Brexit and competition from online channels.
“New Look is an iconic brand on the high street and the CVA will provide a stable platform upon which management’s turnaround plan can be delivered. We have fully engaged with the British Property Federation and its members and their views are reflected in what we believe is a fair proposal to restructure the property obligations of the company.
“It is important to stress that no stores will close on day one, and employees, suppliers and business rates will continue to be paid on time and in full.”