Blog: Leonie BarrieLaura Ashley stores fetch 2 euros

Leonie Barrie | 2 September 2003

A couple of years ago British clothing and furnishings retailer Laura Ashley was talking about Europe as a potential route for expansion. Yesterday it came one step closer to turning its back on the continent after selling off its 11 Benelux stores for the nominal sum of 2 euros. And by the end of the year it hopes to have pulled out of Europe completely.

The change in strategy says a lot about the volatility being experienced in retailing right now. The store group, which reported a full-year loss of £14.1 million in the year to January 2003, has been fighting a losing battle against economic downturn, poorly targeted products, low sales, high running costs and a dearth of tourist traffic.

Offloading its European business is widely seen as a positive move – but means the pressure will now revert to Laura Ashley’s 206-store UK business and, in particular, the poorly performing clothing division. This would be a challenge at the best of times, but all eyes will now be on the firm’s two chief executives – appointed by parent Malayan United Industries – who have already been criticised for their lack of experience in running a UK fashion retailer.

BLOG

Industry welcoming move to renegotiate NAFTA

The US textile industry has welcomed President Donald Trump's decision to renegotiate NAFTA, saying it is in America's national interest to modernise the trade agreement....

BLOG

Cutting edge technology defining apparel industry

Cutting-edge textile processing products including a new technology for dyeing yarns in a more sustainable manner and a digitalised sewing machine set up via a touchscreen or app, were among the most ...

BLOG

Ethiopia apparel and textile industry making massive gains

just-style's editor Leonie Barrie recently visited Ethiopia to see for herself the massive developments taking place to elevate this East African nation into a compelling new garment and textile sourc...

BLOG

Collaboration remains a challenge

Collaboration between retailers, brands and their suppliers is a mission critical element in developing a slicker and more cost-effective supply chain. But in an increasingly complex fashion environme...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?