JOBS are set to be axed as retailer New Look plans to shut 60 stores, including two in Reading, and slash rent on nearly 400 shops as part of a rescue deal, the company said.

New Look in Broad Street Mall and New Look Mens in The Oracle are set to shut down, the firm announced.

New Look cited high rental costs and challenged trading amid a "difficult retail environment" as it announced the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

A CVA allows a company to exit unprofitable branches and secure rent reductions on the remaining estate.

Under the proposal, New Look has identified 60 out of its total 593 UK stores for potential closure.

It will also includes a reduction in rental costs and revised lease terms across 393 stores.

New Look said it would attempt to redeploy those at risk of redundancy in other parts of the business.

Alistair McGeorge, executive chairman of New Look, said: "Given our challenged trading performance and over-rented UK store estate, we are having to take tough but necessary actions to reduce our fixed cost base and restore long-term profitability.

"We have held constructive discussions with our key landlords and strategic partners and will now seek creditor approval on our CVA proposal.

"A priority for us is to keep all potentially affected colleagues informed during this difficult time."