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Laura Ashley may call in administrators

Malaysian-owned clothing and home furnishings retailer Laura Ashley may go into administration if it fails to secure £15 million (US$18.44 million) in loans from Hilco Capital.

According to reporting in Retail Gazette, the firm is currently in talks with the Homebase garden centre business owner for the emergency loan to avoid collapse by the end of this month. The business has said its operations have not been strongly affected by the coronavirus outbreak, but has otherwise experienced a challenging year’s trading.

The firm suffered a 166-per-cent loss in the December financial half year, with a sales drop of 10.8 per cent amidst poor market conditions and the spectre of Brexit. Last year, the business lost 60 per cent of its share value.

The firm currently operates 150 UK stores and around 2700 staff will be affected if the business fails.

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