UK high street chain Laura Ashley has fallen into administration, and blamed Covid-19 for closing the chances of a rescue deal.

The move puts 2,700 jobs at risk at the firms 150 shops.

The firm, known for its home furnishings had been suffering financial difficulties for sometime, but its Malaysian owners had hoped to agree new financial support. Yet a slum in financial trading has changed sights of a deal. 

Laura Ashley tells shareholders:

"For the seven weeks up to 13th March, trading for the Laura Ashley business improved by 24% year-on-year and the directors were encouraged by this strong performance.

"However, the COVID-19 outbreak has had an immediate and significant impact on trading, and ongoing developments indicate that this will be a sustained national situation.

"Discussions with stakeholders have been ongoing and the directors are in advanced discussions for the provision of third-party debt funding.

"However, based on the Company’s revised cashflow forecasts and the increased uncertainty facing the Group, the Company expects that it will not be in a position to draw down additional funds from third party lenders in a timely manner sufficient to support working capital requirements."

There are two Laura Ashley units in Glasgow, one on West George street and one in Intu Braehead shopping centre.