Home delivers mixed performance for Laura Ashley

LAsofaTwo of Laura Ashley’s three home categories saw sales fall in the past year, but its largest enjoyed growth.

Home accessories – lighting, gifts, bed linen, rugs, throws, cushions and children’s accessories – saw like for like sales rise by 3.7% in the year to 30 June. The growth saw it become the retailer’s largest category, accounting for 33% of sales.
‘Its continued growth is based on new, relevant and innovative product as well as an ever improving seasonal offering. As always, these products are designed to complement our decorating and furnishing themes,’ said the chain.
Furniture – upholstery, cabinet, beds and mirrors – saw like for like sales drop by 5.3%.
‘Furniture is our most price sensitive category and we are reviewing the end to end supply chain to ensure that good value, as well as our rich and diverse depth of choice, enables the furniture business to flourish. New products have been added to what was already a comprehensive range.’
Furniture now makes up 30% of sales.
In decorating – fabric, curtains, wallpaper, paint and decorative accessories – like for like sales fell by 4%. ‘While the performance of decorating has been below expectation, we remain confident that, our combination of heritage and contemporary classic designs, have broad and enduring appeal to both our existing and new customers.’
Decorating accounts for 22% of sales.
Overall UK retail sales of £252m were hit by the closure of 22 Homebase concessions as selling space was reduced by 6.5% to 681,000sqft.