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 trade probe could have costs for cotton

An International Trade Commission hearing got underway last week as part of the Trump administration's probe into China's intellectual property practices under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act. The a...

BLOG

Stop negotiating and bring in the engineers

Surviving in a declining market is the biggest challenge for discount/mass-market retailers and suppliers of commodity products such as basic T-shirts, hoodies or cotton men's shirts – which is why it...

BLOG

The implications of buyer purchasing practices

New research has delved into one relatively underexplored aspect of global supply chains: how buyer purchasing practices impact wages and working conditions....

BLOG

just-style readership survey 2017 – Final reminder

We’re currently carrying out a survey to get a better understanding of the issues that matter the most to our readers, and how we can better serve you in the future. ...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?