Laura Ashley has announced that it will be permanently closing 70 stores in the UK. The move comes as the brand brings in administrators to try and stay afloat. The closure of the stores wil put 721 jobs in jeopardy. The store will continue to trade as per usual at its remaining 77 locations and online shopping will remain unaffected as a result of the closures. He brand has not confirmed if the store closures havr been impacted by the effects of Coronavirus but many retailers have been affected by the pandemic so it’s likely that it had a hand in pushing the company into administration.
The CEO of Laura Ashley has confirmed that some jobs will be lost but has said that she is hopeful that buyer for the company will be found and that the brand will see a turnaround in the future so that it can continue on as a beloved British brand.
Nationwide Laure Ashley has 2,700 employees and first filed for administration in March after it could not secure £15 million in emergency funding to stay afloat.
The retailer is among many British fashion brands suffering in the wake of closures due to the pandemic. British retailer Burberry has announced a 30 percent in sales and has closed more than half of its outlets in Europe whilst retailers like Browns and MATCHESFASHIon have also shut down their stores for an unspecified amount of time.
Retailers were already struggling, with increasing online shopping forcing many to close over recent years and it is likely that many fashion brands will be forced into administration similar to Laura Ashley over the coming years.
For now the brand is hoping for a buyer as a lifeline to the brand and their staff.