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Laura Ashley sales dip as fashion underperforms

Like-for-like sales at womenswear and homewear chain Laura Ashley dipped in the first 18 weeks of its financial year as fashion underperformed.

In the 18 weeks to June 1 total sales fell by 0.6%, as did Laura Ashley’s like-for-likes. However online sales grew, increasing 4.4% during the period.

The retailer did not break out performance by its different divisions, but the interim management statement said fashion had dented an otherwise good set of results.

“We have seen a strong performance and like-for-like growth in our home furnishings business but fashion has under performed, partly due to the impact of unseasonal weather during the period,” the statement said.

“We are continuing to improve and enhance our fashion range and are optimistic that this will be reflected in our second half performance.”

In April, Laura Ashley’s chief financial officer Seán Anglim told Drapers the business was reviewing “everything” within its fashion department after annual sales fell 5.6%.

The retailer has continued to expand launching 10 new franchise stores taking its store total to 276 in 31 countries.

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