Pictured: The Milton Keynes store - one of the 70 closures

The permanent closure of 70 Laura Ashley stores was announced yesterday. As a result, 721 employees are set to lose their jobs.

“It’s quite worrying to Just lose your income overnight”
Debbie Hanney – Laura Ashley employee 

The company announced it was going into administration just last week, holding the impact of the coronavirus accountable for the collapse of the brand.

But, it was yesterday, in the statement shown above,that they announced the permanent closures of 70 stores.

Debbie Hanney has worked in retail admin at the firm for two years. She has spoken about how these closure are going to impact the employees losing their jobs.

Speaking to sales floor shop assistant, Charlotte Hollis, she said that the news was “devastating” when her team found out their Southampton store was closing yesterday. She stated; “It all happened so quickly, and not only have we lost our jobs, but we’ve lost our jobs in this climate, where finding a retail job is impossible with everything closed”.

They are not the only company taking a hit during this time. Carphone Warehouse announced that all 531 of their stores will be closing permanently with an expected 2,900 people made redundant.

One of 531 Carphone Warehouse stores closing

It is no surprise that the current pandemic will massively affect high street brands, with the announcement from Boris Johnson last night (23rd March), stating that shops selling “non essential goods” including clothes and electronics stores will be closed immediately.

Laura Ashley will likely be the first of many permanent closures, as many companies are set to take a hit during this difficult time.