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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 January 2008, 09:33 GMT
Ashley closes first Welsh store
The Laura Ashley shop in Llanidloes
The Laura Ashley shop in Llanidloes has been open since 1976
The first shop opened in Wales by high street fashion chain Laura Ashley closes its doors for the last time on Saturday.

The shop in Llanidloes, near the firm's former headquarters in Carno, opened in 1976 after the late designer and her husband moved from Kent to Powys.

Mayor David Jones said the closure was a "huge blow" to what was an already "fragile economy" in the town.

Laura Ashley said the decision had been a difficult one to take.

Town councillors, Powys Council and the local AM and MP had tried to persuade the firm to alter its decision, but it said the store was too small for its product range.

Mr Jones said: "It's a huge blow to what is an already fragile economy.

Llanidloes mayor David Jones
It's a huge blow to what is an already fragile economy
Llanidloes mayor David Jones

"People travelling between north and south Wales broke their journey by visiting Laura Ashley and then spending money in other outlets."

A spokeswoman for Laura Ashley said sales in Llanidloes had been affected by the opening of new stores in Wales.

She added: "The decision to close the Llanidloes store on expiry of the lease term was a difficult one to take considering the history of the store and Laura Ashley's close links with Wales.

"However, as with all decisions of this nature, it was taken with the best interests of the company as a whole, its employees and shareholders.

"At only 650 square feet, space at the Llanidloes store is limited and in addition, sales have been affected by the opening of new stores in Wales."

Staff at the store are being offered posts at other branches of the chain.



SEE ALSO
Town fights Laura Ashley closure
28 Dec 07 |  Mid Wales
First Laura Ashley store to close
23 Dec 07 |  Mid Wales
Laura Ashley museum tribute opens
10 May 07 |  Mid Wales
Laura Ashley to make 43 redundant
27 Jun 06 |  Mid Wales

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