Laura Ashley to expand to China


After several attempts at cracking the market, Laura Ashley will finally launch in China.

The British retailer, owned by Malaysia-based MUI Group, will open a website via the Alibaba-owned Tmall website and will have a concession within the first House of Fraser store in China set to open this autumn.

Laura Ashley finance director Seán Anglim said its long-term aim was to find a Chinese franchise partner.

“China is not easy as evidenced by how many have got in and how many have come out,” Anglim said.

RELATED: Laura Ashley records growth in sales and profits for 2016

“It is all about finding the right partner and doing it at the right time.”

Laura Ashley currently has franchise partners in 30 countries outside the UK and an online store in six.

The company also has ambitions to establish new online stores in Hungary and the Czech Republic in coming months.

The Chinese move comes after the retailer this week reported a £25.8 million profit before tax and exceptional items for the 74 week period to June 30 – a 12.6 per cent increase on the 2015 figure.

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