Laura Ashley set to fall short of new store target

Laura Ashley, the home furnishings and fashion retailer, will fail to meet its target of 50 standalone Home stores by the end of the year.

In January, the retailer said there was the potential for 50 new stores in 12 months after a test of the standalone Home format proved successful.

However, only 22 stores have opened and 15 more will open by the end of the year.

Laura Ashley chief operating officer David Cook said the company has identified 70 suitable locations for potential stores. He said: 'We have a very strict criteria on location. Of the 50 stores discussed, some may or may not happen. We are not willing to sacrifice the commercial side on expanding on a certain number.'