November 6, 2018 / 5:16 PM / 15 days ago

South Africa's Brait sees UK clothing store closures

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 6 (Reuters) - British fashion group New Look, which is owned by South African investment firm Brait , is planning to close around 85 stores, it said on Tuesday.

Brait, which also owns gym chain Virgin Active and British supermarket Iceland Foods, has been under pressure as weak consumer demand and tough competition in UK’s high street have weighed on New Look, one of its biggest profit sources.

New Look staved off a potential collapse into administration in March when British creditors and landlords backed a restructuring plan enabling it to close 60 UK stores.

The firm said it was is talks with landlords over a further 13 stores.

Brait reported a near one-third drop in annual net asset value in June after writing the value of New Look down to zero last November.

New Look has been one of Britain’s most popular retail names for decades, offering fashionable clothes at lower prices, but its sales have fallen amid rising competition from rivals including online retailers. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg, editing by Ed Osmond)

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