Laura Ashley which operates 150 stores in the UK and employs around 2,700 staff has filed for administration, this follows the recent news that Carphone Warehouse is also due to close its stores with a loss of almost 3000 jobs.
The largest shareholder Mui Asia said it was unable to support the retailer with financial support in the required timeframe. It was rescued from the receivers in 1998, 58 per cent of the shares are believed to be controlled directly or indirectly by the company’s chairman Dr Khoo Kay Peng.
They had been in talks with stakeholders over refinancing, but rescue talks were halted by the coronavirus outbreak.
The company was founded by Bernard Ashley, an engineer, and his wife Laura Ashley in 1953 then grew over the next 20 years to become an international retail chain. Sales totalled over £276 million in 2000.