Up to 2,700 jobs at risk as Laura Ashley falls into administration

Fashion chain Laura Ashley has filed for administration, putting up to 2,700 jobs at risk, after rescue talks were halted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The troubled retailer had been in talks with stakeholders over refinancing, but it said its “revised cash flow forecasts and increased uncertainty” mean it will not be able to secure these funds in sufficient time.

It said it hired advisers from PwC to oversee the administration on Tuesday.

Laura Ashley said it had seen an upturn in sales in recent weeks, with trading up 24% year-on-year for the seven weeks to March 13.

However, it said the virus outbreak has “had an immediate and significant impact on trading, and ongoing developments indicate that this will be a sustained national situation”.

The retailer operates 150 stores in the UK and employs around 2,700 staff.

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