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New Look may open new store at Belfast's Victoria Square

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Fashion retailer New Look is believed to be launching a new shop at Victoria Square in Belfast (stock photo)

Fashion retailer New Look is believed to be launching a new shop at Victoria Square in Belfast (stock photo)

Fashion retailer New Look is believed to be launching a new shop at Victoria Square in Belfast (stock photo)

Fashion retailer New Look is believed to be launching a new shop at Victoria Square in Belfast.

The high street brand, which closed its Donegall Place store last year after Primark bought Fountain House, is expected to open a new store at the former home of luxury fashion retailer Cruise.

No one at New Look was available for comment. However, last year, the chain said a new store in the city was a possibility despite slumping deeper into the red with annual losses of more than £500m.

In June, the retailer reported pre-tax losses of £522.2m for the year to March 30, against losses of £190.2m the previous year after writing off £402m of goodwill and brand value.

In an interview New Look executive chairman Alistair McGeorge said the group is considering opening some stores where it has recently closed units, such as Belfast.

Speaking about the overall retail market, he said at the time, it was "as challenging as I've ever seen in my lifetime in terms of consumer uncertainty, Brexit uncertainty and weather uncertainty".

However, in recent months New Look has made changes to its operations, with Mr George becoming non-executive chairman and replaced by Nigel Oddy.

A new chief commercial officer was also announced. Helen Connolly joined the company last week and has spent many years in fashion retail having previously held roles at Bonmarche, George at ASDA and Dorothy Perkins.

To broaden its appeal to customers New Look has also signed up high-profile fashion ambassadors including singer and TV presenter Rochelle Humes.

New Look isn't the only Belfast based retailer to move to Victoria Square in recent months. Belfast's Body Shop store which formerly occupied a unit on Donegall Place also moved to the centre earlier this month.

Meanwhile in CastleCourt, gift and gadget store Hawkin's Bazaar is holding a closing down sale after the company collapsed into administration.

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