Laura Ashley is a big company that grew from small beginnings. The company started out with Laura and Bernard Ashley printing fabric in their kitchen in London in 1953 inspired by an exhibition by the Women’s Institute at the Victoria and Albert Museum on traditional handicrafts. Investing £10 into materials and equipment they began producing small squares of fabric with geometric patterns. A trend was at that time sparked by Audrey Hepburn in the film Roman Holiday and sales took off. They became a registered company under Ashley Mountney Ltd in 1954, but quickly changed the name to Laura Ashley to reflect their goods.
The first showroom opened in London in 1958. The company turnover increased from £2000 to £8000 in 1960, and the business needed to expand into larger premises.
The first shop opened in 1961 at 35 Maengywn Street in Wales above which the family lived. It still retains a plaque commemorating Laura Ashely.
1966 saw the first production of a dress for social wear and fashion rather than work. The longer length became a trademark for the company. In 1968, the company opened its first London shop in South Kensington. Business boomed with a shop opening in Shrewsbury and sales reaching £300,000.
The 70s saw Laura Ashley concessions opening in Australia, Japan and Canada with a US store opening in San Francisco.
Following Laura’s death in 1985, Laura Ashley Holdings plc went public. The company suffered over expansion during the 90s, but stayed strong, and Sir Bernard Ashley retired as chairman in 1993 on its 40th anniversary.
Laura Ashley released its website in October 2001, and subsequently won the European Mail Order Days Award in 2003 for sales growth and catalogue quality.
Laura Ashley now retails in home furnishings, women’s clothing and girls’ clothing, the latter of which was launched in early 2011.
5 Reasons to Use
Focus on quality home furnishings and clothing ranges.
Reliable international retail chain.
Quintessentially English products.
Free post returns.
Family run company that has existed since 1953 and grown from nothing.
Returns to Laura Ashley can be done in one of the following ways: in store or by post. Products must be returned with proof of purchase, such as a receipt or a delivery note, and must be unused in their original packaging within 28 days of receiving the purchase.
If you are returning in store, you can receive a full refund for any unused item. Furniture and upholstery cannot be returned to store. You must have a valid receipt and be within the 28 days of receipt however. The refund will be the same method of payment as the original purchase.
Returns by post are free for most items. Your package will come with a prepaid delivery label. Larger items, such as curtain poles, mirrors and heavy curtains cannot be returned at the post office so should be sent via courier.
You should allow 14 days for the processing of your refund to be completed.