Laura Ashley Holdings: the Battle for Survival

1042 WordsAug 2, 20105 Pages
Laura Ashley Holdings: The Battle for Survival 1. Assess the company’s recent performance. How serious is the company’s present predicament? Laura Ashley’s business performance has been on the decline since the early 1990’s. Although with the numerous changes of CEO’s, including the highly paid turnaround executive Ann Iverson, Laura Ashley is still left far behind the competitors and unable to keep up with the growth of economy. Laura Ashley’s decline of business performance can be observed from the following: • Financials: sales have declined from 1995 to 1999, with the North America Region being the most noticeable: over 40% of decrease in five years. Profits have peaked near the mid-90 but decreased overall since…show more content…
Recently the higher level management team has been restructured, but still doesn’t seem to be effective. 3. What strategy recommendations would you offer to Mr. Cheong that would best serve the interests of Laura Ashley’s shareholders? • Reposition and refocus: the designing focus should roll back to the traditional country style that people loved, mainly home décor, which is the specialty of Laura Ashley. The company needs to consolidate the past and existing customers: middle to older aged women, and will benefit from the aging world population. Clothing merchandise should be supporting, not overwhelming the home décor lines. Laura Ashley should also reposition itself as the UK based, high-end home décor designer, and classy imports to other countries, not domesticated products with retail stores all around the world. This reposition leads to the following: • Retrenchment: not every product has a large enough audience to support the entire world, especially traditional British country style décor, which may not be perceived as stylish in Asian countries. Instead of the gigantic overhead incurred by opening retail stores, Laura Ashley should close down most of the smaller retail stores and stop franchising activities, retrenching to become once again UK-exclusive, and open a few high-end, large showrooms in key locations around the world, such as New York, LA, Tokyo, and Beijing to promote the
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