17 December 2018

The Laura Ashley group of fashion and home furniture stores will close by the end of December.

Administrator Craig Shepard said today: “Despite a number of parties engaging in an Expression of Interest process, there was no offer for the business as a going concern.”

There were 17 Laura Ashley 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 shut down.

Mr Shepard said the Administrators would now focus on an orderly closure of the remaining 16 stores in the next two weeks.

All stock will be priced to clear. “Laura Ashley customers are invited to shop for a Christmas bargain. We thank all the loyal staff for their support of the brand during the Administration,” Mr Shepard said.

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 soft retail environment, rising fixed costs and competition from online retailers.

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 enquiries:

Michael Smith
Inside Public Relations
0411 055 306 | msmith[email protected] 


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