Saturday , May 8 2021

Laura Ashley closes 40 UK stores focusing on China

Laura Ashley, Truro, Cornwall, UKImage copyright
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Originally in Wales, Laura Ashley grew from a small factory in Carno

Laura Ashley closes nearly 40 stores in the United Kingdom as she plans to expand her presence in China.

Laura Ashley, owned by Malayan United Industries (MUI), has closed some 40 UK stores since 2015.

The UK's High Street stores have been a difficult year when consumer confidence is weakened and fewer customers visit.

The recent report has shown that about 14 stores are closed every day in the United Kingdom in the midst of a hard trading eye.

MUI's newly appointed CEO, Andrew Khoo Boo Yeow, told Malaysia earlier this month that he expects the business to see strong wind power over the next two years.

He also said MUI plans to rebuild its business and rationalize its assets.

Khoo told the Press Association that UK stores would drop from 160 to 120, but the remaining deals would be expanded.

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"It's more about introducing a brand," he said. "It does not matter if [customers] buy online or offline, we just want inspiration.

"It's a challenging environment and it can be more challenging," he said.

The company said it would look at mobile workers from all stores that foreclose larger outlets.

Moving to Asia in a big way

Khoo told PA that the company "moved to Asia much more".

"We have a regional office in Singapore [that is] focusing purely on e-commerce in China.

"When we gain a major foothold in digital retail sales in China, we can look at physical commerce."

Image copyright
Getty Images


Critics have said that the Laura Ashley brand has not remained essential

Originally in Wales, Laura Ashley grew from a small Carno mill, one of the world's leading clothing brands in the 1970s and 1980s.

But analysts have said that the brand has not remained essential. The retailer had hoped that the introduction of a new digital platform in the second half of 2018 would help increase its supply, but critics have said that the company's online store supply is not yet a standard.

At the beginning of this year, Laura Ashley issued a profit warning after the announcement disappointed with the December 2017 Christmas sales figures.

The news sent the shares rolling. At one point, they dropped by 26%, pulled back to a 4% loss and dropped by 8%.

Recently, the dealer has invested in hotels. The first Laura Ashley hotel was opened in 2013. The company currently has two Laura Ashley Elstree Manor and Laura Ashley Lake District Belsfield.

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