Struggling fashion and homeware retailer Laura Ashley has appointed PwC administrators after rescue talks were abandoned due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

High street

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“The company regrets to announce that the directors of the company and of the named subsidiaries have today filed notice of the company to appoint Robert Lewis and Zelf Hussain as administrators,” it said in a statement to investors.

“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.”

In February, Laura Ashley reported a pre-tax loss of £4m in the second half of 2019.

Main shareholder MUI Asia will not be able to step in with the money that is needed in time, Laura Ashley said.