New Look may close up to 120 stores in order to improve profitability.

This includes the 60 stores that New Look said it would close under a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) agreed in March. 

This week, the group said this number had risen to 85. The fate of a remaining 39 stores is unclear as New Look continues to talk with landlords.

Alistair McGeorge, the retailer’s executive chairman, said they are facing “significant headwinds and uncertainties, including Brexit”.

“Clearly the wider retail environment remains challenging and we are not expecting that to change anytime soon. However, we are on the right track and continue to drive further efficiencies across the business,” he said.

“As we look to the second half, our focus will be to continue to improve our financial and operational stability and further capitalise on our brand strength to position us well for the future.”

Sales at the store fell 3.7% for the 26 weeks to 22 September. Operating profits increased to £22.2 million compared with a loss of £10.4 million last year.

Last month, the store announced its decision to leave its business in China, where it has 148 stores.

In 2015, Christo Wiese’s investment vehicle Brait (JSE: BAT) bought 90% of New Look from the private equity firms Apax and Permira in a £780 million deal.

In contrast to New Look’s fate, Primark has bucked the retail trend and reported a 1.2% in the year to 15 September and an increase in annual profits by15% to £843 million.

George Weston, the chief executive of the Associated British Foods (ABF) parent group (LON: ABF), said: “The performance in the UK was striking, with a significant increase in our share of the total clothing market.”