13 December 2018

KordaMentha Restructuring is in discussions with three potential buyers of the fashion and home furnishings group Laura Ashley.

Administrator Craig Shepard said today: “The interested buyers have been asked to provide firm offers by Monday. If there is no sale, all stores will be closed by the end of the month.”

There are 17 stores in all States and the ACT. Since the group went into Voluntary Administration on 3 December, the Brisbane store has been closed and the online store has been shut down with all stock moved to stores for clearance sales.

Customers have rushed to the stores this month, with sales up over 300 per cent. There is a furniture sale with deep discounts at the Laura Ashley warehouse showroom at 112 Buckhurst Street, South Melbourne, until Saturday.

Laura Ashley has 100 employees in Australia. It operates under a licence from the UK Laura Ashley business, which is not affected by the Australian administration.

Mr Shepard says the business has been hurt by the same factors affecting many other fashion retailers – a becalmed retail environment, rising fixed costs and fierce competition from online retailers.

“But it has an incredibly loyal customer base which has responded magnificently in the last fortnight,” he said today.

The first meeting of creditors is being held today, Thursday 13 December at 2.00 pm at Chartered Accountants, Level 18, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne.

Laura Ashley was introduced in Australia more than 35 years ago. It was formed in England in 1953 when Laura and Bernard Ashley started printing fabric on their kitchen table after visiting a craft exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. On vacation in Italy in 1952, the film Roman Holiday was released and Audrey Hepburn’s headscarves became a fashion trend that inspired them. They began producing scarves, then tea towels and placemats. The brand has maintained its classic English look.

At its peak in Australia, Laura Ashley had more than 45 stores.  

Media contact:
Michael Smith
Inside Public Relations

0411 055 306 | msmit[email protected]

 
About

KordaMentha Restructuring works with companies in financial distress – to restructure and to stabilise the business or to recover value on behalf of stakeholders.