Laura Ashley in marketing rejig

Marketing staff at Laura Ashley are bracing themselves for a shake-up in the department after last week’s announcement of 200 management job cuts and a £35m business-wide review.

The company is to create a global board based in Maidenhead, Berkshire, replacing separate boards for the UK, European and US operations. Karen Levi, marketing director for the UK, is expected to become global marketing director.

The company is looking for another senior marketing executive to work alongside Levi, charged with developing licensing and wholesale agreements for some product areas. It is thought the position will carry the title of brands director.

Levi says there will be a shake-up of marketing functions across the business, although the marketing team is expected to continue running day-to-day affairs. She says: “Everything is up for review and there could be cuts in marketing departments outside the UK.”

There will be further brand extensions following forays into bed linen, spectacles, glassware and carpets.

Levi says: “We recognise the need to strengthen Laura Ashley’s marketing, and extend licensing and wholesaling into areas which have not been developed much in the past.”

Laura Ashley’s £607,000 (Register MEAL) advertising account with Harari Page will also be reviewed, although Levi envisages no imminent changes.

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