New Look announces closure of Bournemouth town center store
Fashion chain New Look has announced that its store in Bournemouth town center will close next month after 21 years.
The retailer said the closure of its branch in the square was not its own decision, but was pushed out by the owner.
The deputy head of the BCP Council expressed hope that the store could be offered an alternative site.
Fashion shoppers have already seen the demise of big names such as Debenhams, Topshop and Topman as major brands, as well as the demise of downtown H&M and Marks & Spencer.
Wilko recently announced that his Bournemouth store would close in February unless he could negotiate a better deal with the owner.
A New Look spokesperson said: “Unfortunately the New Look store in Bournemouth will close in February after the owner decided to end the lease early.
“While it was therefore not our decision to close the store, we are focused on supporting our store colleagues and, where possible, finding alternative roles for them within the business.”
The New Look site was marketed by the real estate agency Jackson Criss last fall.
New Look landlords across the country were given more leeway to end their leases when the Weymouth-based chain applied for a Corporate Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to reduce its debts in 2020.
The CVA, which reduced New Look’s debts from around £550m to £100m, included ‘enhanced landlord breaks’, allowing landlords to end leases ‘if they believe they can identify another tenant on improved terms.
BCP Deputy Leader of Council Cllr Phil Broadhead said he and the Town Center BID were “working closely with local agents and landowners to see if we can find them another location in Bournemouth”.
“We have some ideas. We’ve already had a number of good conversations with some of the landowners,” he said.
Paul Kinvig, COO of Bournemouth Town Center BID, said: ‘It is obviously disappointing to hear this news, but it is clear it is the owner’s decision, not New Look’s. .
“Without knowing the details of the discussions between the parties, it would seem that the lessor has taken the decision to invoke a break clause in the lease contract.
“We are already contacting New Look to see if there is anything we can do, working with other partners, to help New Look stay in the city centre. It is a major retailer.
New Look was one of the key names brought in when a row of buildings on Bourne Avenue and Richmond Hill were redeveloped around the turn of the millennium. The store, originally adjacent to the Borders Bookstore, opened in February 2001.