Fashion chain Laura Ashley has filed for administration after rescue talks were halted by the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.
Laura Ashley said that 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 had seen an upturn in sales in recent weeks, with trading up 24% year-on-year for the seven weeks running up to March 13.
Advisers from PwC have been hired to oversee the administration of the firm, which operates 150 stores in the UK and employs around 2,700 staff.
Also on Tuesday, Carphone Warehouse announced it would close all standalone stores on April 3, resulting in around 2,900 redundancies.
The mobile phone retailer’s shops inside big Currys PC World stores will not be impacted. Dixons Carphone said that the Coronavirus was not the reason for the decision, but that the virus outbreak has ‘underlined the importance of acting decisively.’