AN expansion into Asia by the retailer Laura Ashley will lead to a significant reduction in the number of stores in the UK.

The announcement follows closely on the heels of the appointment of a new chair of the company, Andrew Khoo.

He is reported to have said that he wished to go in a direction where they did not have so many stores but the ones they did have could be larger.

Malayan United Industries (MUI), which had already closed 40 Laura Ashley stores in 2015, said the home furnishings retailer would reduce its UK store estate from 160 sites to 120. The company has made some assurances that job losses would be kept to a minimum.

The company has regional offices in Singapore, which is focussed on ecommerce in China.

Image: S12morela [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

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