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Laura Ashley shops in Tenterden, Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells to close within weeks

Closing dates for three Laura Ashley stores in Kent have been confirmed.

Stores in Canterbury and Tenterden will close for the final time on Saturday, while the chain's outlet in Tunbridge Wells will close down a week later.

Everything must go at the Laura Ashley store in Fremlin Walk, Maidstone
Everything must go at the Laura Ashley store in Fremlin Walk, Maidstone

A final decision on the last trading day for shops in Maidstone, Broadstairs, Sevenoaks, Bromley and Orpington has yet to be made.

No details of job losses at the affected branched have been confirmed, as it is understood talks with staff are ongoing.

The expected loss of more retail jobs in the county will be just the latest blow for high streets fighting to bounce back from the Covid-19 lockdown.

Bargain hunters have been able to snap up cut-price deals since the iconic firm's stores in Kent reopened for an extensive closing down sale after coronavirus restrictions were eased.

After the troubled chain fell into administration is was hoped the brand- which launched in the 1950s - would survive online and be available through other retailers across the country.

Laura Ashley on the Wincheap Trading Estate in Canterbury will close for the final time this week
Laura Ashley on the Wincheap Trading Estate in Canterbury will close for the final time this week

A spokesman for administrators PwC said: "Although the joint administrators were able to sell the Laura Ashley brand to Gordon Brothers in April, it has not been possible to secure a buyer for the business as a going concern.

"While the joint administrators remain open to interest in the business, a controlled closure programme has been initiated."

Speaking to KentOnline when the closing down sale began earlier in the summer, one shopper gave an indication of why the brand fell on hard times.

Janet Eyers said: "There are more competitive places you can go to get similar things now."

"When I was younger everybody couldn’t get enough of Laura Ashley, but I think it might have become a bit outdated now."

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