Monday, 2 Oct 2023

Coronavirus: Laura Ashley set to become first retail casualty of crisis

The fashion to homewares shop Laura Ashley is set to become the first retail casualty of the coronavirus crisis, placing 2,700 jobs at risk.

Sky News reported at the weekend how the firm was scrambling for a funding lifeline to avert collapse but the company all but admitted defeat on Tuesday, saying it had filed intentions to appoint administrators.

It said it hired advisers from PwC to oversee the administration process hours after Dixons Carphone announced it was to close all its Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK, with the loss of 2,900 workers.

Dixons Carphone said its decision was not related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Laura Ashley, however, blamed its troubles on a “significant” drop-off in trade with no end to the coronavirus crisis in sight.

The company confirmed its majority shareholder and third-party lenders had been unable to provide additional support.

It had been seeking a £15m loan.

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