Furniture sales fell high single-digits for Laura Ashley in 2016–17
Laura Ashley is to introduce more keenly-priced upholstery and beds to its product offer as full year sales were hit by soft demand and ongoing retail space consolidation.


Furniture sales fell 8.2 percent to £68.4 million in the year to end June — with around half of the decline down to it shuttering a net seven stores as it reduced its UK estate to 160 shops.

Like-for-like furniture sales were down 4.1 percent, the retailer said, adding that "given the softer consumer confidence at this juncture, some of our customers have deferred the more expensive purchase of a new settee or bed."

Laura Ashley went on to say that it is "adding a selection of more competitively priced products to this range but will maintain the overall quality and diversity of choice which we now offer."

Online like-for-like sales were up 4.1 percent, with ecommerce revenues hitting £59.7 million, a quarter of total revenue. Home accent sales, its biggest product grouping, were down by a softer 3.6 percent to £80.2 million.

The remainder of its total group revenue of £257.2 million is made of fashion and decorating products sales as well as turnover derived from licensing and overseas activity.

Laura Ashley booked a net loss of £1.4 million, compared with a profit of £4 million for 2015–16. Underlying before tax profit dropped by a third to £5.6 million. Aside from tax, this backs out one-off costs of £5.5 million, of which £4.7 million relates to the impairment of property in Singapore.

Related Story
— Laura Ashley to sell 98,000sqft planned Asia HQ

Stay informed. Subscriptions start from less than £2 per week:

Already a subscriber?    Sign In