Laura Ashley files for administration after coronavirus halts rescue talks

17 March 2020, 11:21 | Updated: 17 March 2020, 12:58

The fashion chain had been involved emergency talks, but these stopped due to the virus
The fashion chain had been involved emergency talks, but these stopped due to the virus. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Thousands of jobs are at risk after troubled retailer Laura Ashley filed for administration in a move prompted by Covid-19.

The chain had previously been in rescue talks with stakeholders about refinancing, but these were halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

It said, "revised cash flow forecasts and increased uncertainty" had meant the brand would not be able to secure the cash in time.

Up to 2,700 jobs are now at risk across the company's 150 stores nationwide.

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The retailer, which has hired advisers from PwC to oversee the administration, said it had seen a recent upturn in sales before the outbreak.

It reported trading up 24% year-on-year in seven weeks up to 13 March.

But the subsequent spread of Covid-19 "had an immediate and significant impact on trading, and ongoing developments" which indicated "this will be a sustained national situation."

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