Laura Ashley hit by poor weather

Laura Ashley said yesterday that fashion sales were washed out by the damp spring weather in the first 18 weeks of the year. The British brand yesterday reported that total retail sales dropped by 0.6 per cent, with like-for-like sales also falling by 0.6 per cent. Furniture and homeware products performed strongly while online sales grew by 4.4 per cent in the period. The group said it hopes to see a pick-up in fashion sales in the second half of the year after making improvements to the range.