Woman clothes in the store. Fashion store. Shopping mall.
Image Source: Artem Beliaikin
Laura Ashley announced that in the second half of 2019, it saw a sales fall of 10.8 per cent, going from £122.9m in the first half of the year to £109.6m.
Chloe Shakesby

Fashion retailer tightens belt following more than £10m decline

A high street fashion retailer has today confirmed that it has seen a sales decline of more than £10m.

Laura Ashley, based in London and operating nationally, announced that in the second half of 2019, it saw a sales fall of 10.8 per cent, going from £122.9m in the first half of the year to £109.6m.

In today’s report, it said: “The decline in total revenue was due to the market headwinds and weaker consumer spending during the period, which led to a decline in sales of bigger ticket items.”

The company has also confirmed that Wells Fargo, its lender, and its majority shareholder MUI Asia Limited, are discussing arrangements to meet its immediate funding requirements.

The company stated that it “welcomes the discussions” and is “proactively monitoring the situation closely.”

It also said that if it remains unable to access the requisite level of funding, then it will need to consider all appropriate options.

Despite this, it added that it is implementing a turnaround strategy, and that the management team is “encouraged”.

Andrew Khoo, chairman of Laura Ashley, commented: “We acknowledge that recent trading conditions, in line with the overall UK retail market, have indeed been challenging.

“There is however a robust plan in place to turn the business around and the board of directors is confident and optimistic that the recent appointment of Katharine Poulter will enable the business to execute this broad based strategy.

“The major shareholders have indicated their continued confidence in the business and are fully supportive of the management team and execution of the transformation plan.”

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