Laura Ashley CEO Katharine Poulter made redundant
Fashion and homeware retailer, Laura Ashley has announced its CEO, Katharine Poulter is reportedly among the staff made redundant last week when the company disclosed a further 56 job cuts since its administration.
After previous chief executive and executive director Kwan Cheong Ng retired, Poulter was only appointed as chief executive at the end of February.
She joined the business in January and was previously managing director at Wilko.
The company had already made 268 roles redundant in April, close after it fell into administration in March.
In April, Gordon Brothers, the global advisory, restructuring, and investment firm, had acquired the global Laura Ashley brand, archives, and related intellectual property from the group’s administrators.
The acquisition did not include any of Laura Ashley’s 147 stores, neither its manufacturing and logistics operations in the UK or Ireland, and joint administrators from PwC are in the process of finding a buyer for this part of the business.
Reportedly, Poulter had sought a management buyout, with the help of private equity backer and Welsh government, of Laura Ashley’s stores, Newton manufacturing base, and its logistics operations.
She also reportedly aimed to increase the retailer’s existing manufacturing capacity and explore the onshoring of production back to Wales.
Although, last week a sale did not occur and PwC said it was unable to retain staff who were not directly involved in the sale of existing stock.
Currently, Laura Ashley stores in the UK have begun to reopen last week after being closed for three months during lockdown period.
These stores will remain open for a period of time to clear stock or “because selected stores form part of a sale of the business”.