Laura Ashley opens so it can close
Troubled frilly retailer Laura Ashley is opening its shops in Barnstaple, Exeter and Plymouth for one last push. The stores, known for posh frocks and pricey furniture, has been in difficulties for some time, beginning well before the covid crisis. A warning about possible insolvency came just before lockdown. In May a buyer snapped up the brand, but announced plans for the business to become largely an online brand.
Now the Devon stores are to open for closing down sales. It's a 'while-stocks-last' operation as the shops clear their shelves and empty their warehouses. The company hasn't disclosed how many jobs are affected.
The stores will adhere to a strict policy of social distancing with a limited number of shoppers allowed in at any time, as well as regular deep cleaning. Card payments are encouraged.
Laura Ashley began in the 1950s, quickly becoming famous for its unique printed fabrics. Over time, the brand grew to become the household name of today, synonymous with quality fashion, interiors and home furnishings. Its founder the eponymous Laura Ashley, died in 1985 at the age of 60.