Laura Ashley emphasising ecommerce

Retailer Laura Ashley is following in the footsteps of a number of other stores and turning to the internet in a bid to improve sales, it has been revealed.

The store has announced that e-commerce will remain one of its highest priorities throughout 2014.

It was announced last week that Laura Ashley saw pre-tax profits of £20.5 million in the year to January 25th. This was up by two per cent compared to this time last year.

Chairman, Tan Sri Dr KP Khoo, commented that the good like-for-like sales growth in the second half of 2013 was encouraging.

He said: “We will continue with the progress we have made in developing our brand, growing our product ranges, improving our systems and enhancing our online business.

“These initiatives, together with the growth of our international franchise business, will remain our primary focus.”

Overall, group sales dropped by 1.4 per cent – or £4.3 million – with three stores closing and floor space diminishing by 16,000 square foot. Total group sales amounted to £294.5 million by the end of the year.

It was found that ecommerce made up 16 per cent of total UK retail sales, as well as 14 per cent of group sales.

Key overseas markets were noted to be France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Austria, and it was found that total sales of decorating products and home accessories rose, while fashion and furniture sales dropped.

SmartTask POD enables companies to manage peak volumes, tracking and tracing incoming and outgoing deliveries.

Downloaded onto an incumbent worker’s smartphone, ruggedised or semi-ruggedised device – including the Motorola TC55 touch computer – the mobile software can run alongside Skillweb’s Houndit technology or a carrier’s current system.

When consumers choose their delivery option during a purchase, the information sent to a carrier relating to the order can be used by the software to generate a communication to the recipient via email or SMS stating an approximate delivery slot. This is based on how long it takes to get from a warehouse to the customer.

Posted by Amy Quayle

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