Retailer Laura Ashley (Australia) announced today the company’s plans for four significant store refurbishments.
Laura Ashley Stores in Chatswood, Geelong, Mosman and Doncaster will undergo a full upgrade with works commencing in July 2008 and be completed by November 2008. 
The stores will have ‘room sets’ installed so customers can see a complete room design for both bedroom and lounge rooms. Each lounge room set will feature Laura Ashley sofa, side tables, cabinet, chairs, mirror, floor rugs, wallpaper, curtains, lighting and soft furnishings, while each bed room set will feature Laura Ashley beds, manchester, side tables, floor rugs, curtains, lighting and soft furnishings.
Later this year Laura Ashley will open a 750 square metre superstore in Victoria and launch two stores within David Jones in Market Street (Sydney) and Robina Town centre (Queensland) by August 2008.
Under new ownership and management since July 2007, the company has seen a 17 per cent increase in retail sales in the period from this year.
The $2 million expenditure signals the commencement of a long-term investment in the business, as chief executive officer Daryl Chait acknowledges the brand was languishing and required a major overhaul in both product and presentation.
“We have faced real challenges in the last 12 months. We recognise we need to actively reinvest in the business so we’ve developed an aggressive refurbishment schedule commencing July 2008.
“A restructured in-house design team has already successfully revamped the apparel range and it’s pleasing to see our customers responding to the changes. There is a renewed interest in Laura Ashley,” said Chait.