3 December 2018

Craig Shepard and Leanne Chesser of KordaMentha Restructuring have been appointed Voluntary Administrators of the fashion and home furnishing group Laura Ashley.

The group, operated under licence from the UK Laura Ashley company, has 18 stores and 100 employees in all Australian States and the ACT. The UK business is not affected by today’s appointment.

Mr Shepard said today: “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.”

It is the second time Laura Ashley has been placed in Administration. The current owners acquired the business in 2016.

“The capital requirements to revive and grow the business became too burdensome as retail conditions became tougher,” Mr Shepard said.

The immediate priorities for the Administrators are to review the shape of the business, call for expressions of interest in buying the stock and licence and to clear as much stock as possible in the pre-Christmas period.

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. The First Meeting of Creditors will be held in Melbourne on 13 December. 
 

Media contact:
Michael Smith
Inside Public Relations

0411 055 306 | [email protected]

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