When New Look founder Tom Singh opened the doors of his first shop in Taunton in 1969, he did so with a rag-trader’s self-confidence in picking best sellers. Over the years he has put the fashion chain’s rise in popularity down to his instinct for picking fashion winners and overhauling supply chains in Asia, which meant he got his trend-led clothes on shop shelves faster than his rivals. In short, New Look was the original fast-fashion pioneer.
However, last week the chain Singh started reported its fifth quarter of poor sales, revealing just how far it has fallen from its days at the forefront of retailing, and sparking concerns about the debt-ridden business.
Even worse, and no doubt to Singh’s horror, New Look has confessed to the cardinal sin of retailing – failing to sell what the customer wants to buy.
Anders Kristiansen, the Dane who has led the business since 2013, admitted that once again New Look’s “product could be better” as he revealed a 7.5pc drop in like-for-like sales during the three months to June 24.