New Look confirms new Victoria Square store will open March 26

New Look's former store in Fountain House, Belfast. The retailer will open a new outlet in Victoria Square on March 26
Ryan McAleer

FASHION retailer New Look has confirmed it will reopen a new store in Belfast's Victoria Square shopping complex on March 26, 14 months after it shut its flagship city centre store.

Some 70 jobs were believed to have been lost when New Look closed the large outlet in Fountain House on Donegall Place in January 2019.

Fashion rival Primark bought the building and opened a second city centre store in April 2019 as part of its response to the fire which destroyed its Bank Buildings store the previous summer.

New Look retained its city centre presence through its outlet within the CastleCourt shopping centre. But now the fashion chain is setting up shop in Belfast's more upmarket retail complex, Victoria Square.

The retailer has confirmed it will take on one of the vacant units on the lower ground level of the shopping centre.

Karen Millen is among the recent retail casualties at Victoria Square.

However the company has declined to state how many jobs will be created within the new store.

Mark Axon, New Look's retail director for the UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be opening our new Belfast city centre store in Victoria Square on Thursday March 26.

“It's a great location, right in the heart of Belfast, and we look forward to inviting our new and loyal customers to shop our latest ranges.”

The outlet will bring the number of New Look stores in Northern Ireland to 25.

It comes almost two years after the retailer announced plans to close 60 stores across the UK as part of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

New Look also asked most of its landlords to accept lower rents.

The measures appear to have yielded some results for the company. Last month the retailer reported it had narrowed pre-tax losses to £1.2m for the three quarters leading up to the end of December.

It compared with a £63.2m loss in the same period the previous year.

However like-for-like UK sales dropped 7.1 per cent, which was blamed on “ongoing consumer uncertainty and seasonal volatility”.

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