Laura Ashley set to roll out ladies mail-order catalogue

Home and fashion retailer Laura Ashley is launching a quarterly womenswear mail-order catalogue in spring next year.

The launch follows a five-month trial, which saw a limited 28-page clothing catalogue distributed in stores along with the company’s existing home furnishings catalogue.

The retailer, which axed its previous clothing catalogue five years ago, decided to launch the new mail-order initiative in a bid to compete with rivals such as Next.

A spokeswoman says the new catalogue is part of an attempt to build on Laura Ashley’s “multi-channel offering” which will also include an online shop selling clothing, accessories and household goods.

The website, which is being tested by the retailer’s own staff, will go live in autumn in time to catch Christmas shoppers.

Laura Ashley, which was on the brink of collapse a few years ago, last week reported a 41 per cent rise, to £2.4m, in pre-tax profits for the 26 weeks to July 28. Turnover jumped 11 per cent to £131.4m.

The company attributes its recovery to an updated womenswear collection and the introduction of new ranges.

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