On April 26 2007, a fire ripped through New Look’s flagship store in London. The damage was so severe that what parts of the building were left standing had to be pulled down.
The retailer was found guilty as none of its staff had of what to do – to the extent that they did not even inform the Fire & Rescue Service, this was left to a neighbouring organisation. By the time the rescue services arrived the fire was too well established. The trial of mistakes continued with investigators also finding that one of the evacuation routes used was right underneath the seat of the fire.
The court heard that New Look had failed to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. It was fined £250,000 for failing to supply a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and £150,000 for failing to train staff adequately. In addition to the above it also had to pay £136,052 in costs.