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

Trump and Brexit generate more confusion

Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...

BLOG

Bangladesh works to resolve labour activist issues

The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...

BLOG

US border tax a contentious issue

Fresh from their disappointment at seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal abandoned last month with an executive order by President Donald Trump, the US apparel and footwear sector...

BLOG

Primark's sustainable cotton programme takes shape

With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?