New Look New News ... And An Apology

Posted on Sep 15, 2020. by NTI

Okay women of the world. Sit up and pay attention; you will probably never hear this again, so it will be worth it.

My name is Neil, I am a man, I was wrong, there is no excuse and it is my fault. I apologise.

There, said it. I hope you enjoyed it. We are flabbergasted here in the NTI newsroom this evening, but ...New Look’s CVA was voted through by three-quarters of the fashion chain’s creditors, despite warnings from the country’s biggest property owners that they would veto the plan. In the end they cried wolf, the wolf turned up in New Look sheep's clothing (a little cheap, a little tatty and a little too fashionable) and they are now all sheepish. Or is it 'sheep-like'? We were wrong at the end of our report this morning - in the end the landlords just didn't have it in them.

The CVA includes landlords accepting no rent for three years on 68 stores and as little as 2 per cent of turnover on 402 stores. New Look had attempted to convince rebelling landlords to support the CVA by saying property owners could cancel leases with 60 days notice. The only alternative would be going bust, at the expense of 11,200 jobs, the retailer said. If this was a crossword and the clue was, 'What did the landlords do this afternoon? - four letters' and you have 'C. V. and A.' so far ... C  A  V _ That's what they did.

Dan Butters of Deloitte is very chipper (and not just because he could be buying Deloitte's restructuring business very soon). He had a smile on his face that said: "The restructuring would enable the business to move forwards." However, property experts have warned that New Look has been seen as a test-case for other retailers and it could pave the way for many more chains to follow suit. We think their landlords can expect poo to be pushed through their letter-boxes this evening. Katherine Campbell, who is someone to know at Reed Smith, said: “Landlords had been working on the basis that a tenant paying some rent is better than no tenant at all, but a revenue-based model in a time of suppressed demand, and before a potential second lockdown, could end up meaning next to no rent anyway. It will be interesting to see if it will be possible to put this particular genie back in the bottle.”

Talking of bottle, the landlords bottled it and the game has changed, the worm has turned and the goalposts have been moved. The second half should be fun ...

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