Laura Ashley defends decision to ask suppliers for price reductions
Retailer Laura Ashley has mounted a vigorous defence of its decision to ask suppliers for price reductions, as strong sales of home furnishings produced a leap in annual profits.
This follows the homewares and fashion chain demanding, in a letter to its suppliers this month, an “immediate cost price reduction of 10%”.
Sean Anglim, the chain’s finance director, insisted it had “very strong relationships with all our suppliers” but said: “Our over-riding objective is to get the best price for our customers.”
He added: “We took a 1.9% margin hit last year because we felt we had to be more promotional [on price].” The reduction in its gross margin was also driven by Laura Ashley stocking more lower-priced products, in a fiercely competitive market.
Anglim further explained that the group manufactured 20% of the home furnishings it sells, such as paint, wallpaper and made-to-measure curtains.
Laura Ashley posted a 9.2% rise in annual profits over the year to January 26. Its home accessories category was its “star performer” posting an 8.5% leap in sales at stores open at least a year, which Anglim attributed to new products and improvements to existing lines.
But its fashion department had a year to forget, with underlying sales down by 4.8%.
Group sales rose by 4.5% to £298.8 million over the year. Laura Ashley has shrugged off the recent snow to deliver a 2.7% rise in underlying sales in the first two months of its financial year. It held its total dividend at 2p a share.
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
- 5 Magna Carta will be 800 years old next year – the perfect reminder of the rights and freedoms we must hold dear
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
UK weather: Travel chaos continues as King's Cross train delays add to snow on roads
The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...