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Firm to close 40 UK stores as it widens presence in China

Some of the home furnishings by Laura Ashley. Critics say the brand has failed to stay relevant. (GETTY PHOTO)

Fashion and home furnishings retailer Laura Ashley will close about 40 stores in the UK as it plans to expand its presence in China, BBC has reported.

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

High Street stores in the UK have had a difficult year as consumer confidence wanes and fewer shoppers visit.

Tough environment

According to the BBC, a recent report has shown that some 14 shops are closing everyday in the UK amid the tough trading environment.

Andrew Khoo Boo Yeow, MUI’s newly appointed executive chairman, told reporters in Malaysia earlier this month that he expected the business to see some tough headwinds across the next two years.

At the beginning of this year Laura Ashley issued a profit warning after reporting disappointing 2017 Christmas trading figures.

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