By guest author Sahar Nazir from Retail Gazette
- Laura Ashley will axe a further 56 jobs across its head office and back office functions
- The retailer had already scrapped 268 roles back in April
Laura Ashley has announced a further 56 redundancies will take place at its business as its UK store estate remains uncertain.
The redundancies will occur across its head office and back office functions.
The fashion and homeware retailer had already scrapped 268 roles in April, following its collapse into administration in March.
Laura Ashley currently has around 2000 staff and has furloughed 1669 of them under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
In April, joint administrators from PwC secured a sale of the Laura Ashley brand to Gordon Brothers in April.
However, the deal did not include any of its 147 stores, nor its manufacturing and logistics operations in the UK or Republic of Ireland.
The administrators are still seeking a buyer for this part of the business.
”We still believe there is value in the group and we remain open to interest, however, should a going concern sale not be possible we may be required to initiate a controlled store closure programme,” PwC partner and joint administrator Rob Lewis said.
“The company is continuing to trade to sell the stock on hand,” he added.
Last month, the Pension Protection Fund said it wants Laura Ashley to have another administrator installed to oversee the investigation regarding its collapse.
The UK’s pensions lifeboat authority was pushing for restructuring firm FRP Advisory to be installed as a joint administrator alongside PwC.
Meanwhile, Laura Ashley stores in England began to reopen from Monday June 15, 2020, after being closed for three months as part of the government-mandated lockdown.
These stores will reopen for a period of time to clear stock or “because selected stores form part of a sale of the business”.
Laura Ashley’s website continues to operate as normal.