Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley is a high-profile UK retail brand originally created in the 1960s by the eponymous floral fabric designer and her husband. The chain combines traditional home furnishings with women’s fashion. Under ownership of the Malaysia-based MUI Group, the retailer has embarked on a turnaround programme to help bring the brand back to its 1980s heyday. It is focusing on reducing its UK footprint while at the same time targeting international – primarily digital – growth. The retailer replatformed in 2018 to provide a seamless customer experience across all channels and drive online growth. The image-heavy site has been customised for each territory, while inventory systems have been integrated across the business. It is now considering augmented reality and AI-enabled product recommendations as part of a future phase of online growth. Laura Ashley continues to optimise its 155-strong UK store estate with further closures in the pipeline. New international partnerships are also helping develop its global expansion, with the majority of its overseas stores operated by franchisees.

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