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They started to make profit and returns to dividends for the first time on seven years. Ann Iverson thought it would be good to expand again and they overstocked at a cost which lead to a loss of i?? 49. 3 millions in 1998 CONCLUSION AND EVALUATION * Have changes and tastes in fashion been the most important factor affecting Laura Ashley’s performance? Looking at my analysation and research, I can provide the evidence that this was not the only factor which could have affected Laura Ashleys Performance.

It seems that the changes in fashion had some effect on the business during early 1990’s as there are few other factors which could have affected the performance. In the Annual report from Laura Ashley in 1992 it has been written: “our clothes… needs to be improved… as we have to keep up in fashion”. Otherwise I have very weak results to rely my hypothesis on completely. * Have other factors been important? Yes. There are many factors which can have affected the performance of Laura Ashley.

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I can conclude by looking at the pattern of the rate of expansion to amont of retained profit that during the period of 1989-1992, Laura Ashley Expanded very rapidly instead of keeping the business steady. During late 1980’s when the state of the economy was poor and interest rates were high, Laura Ashley made a large loss. Instead of trying to survive, it tried to grow. As it was stated in an article in The Express “they tried to make the company run before it could even walk”. The firm needed to slow down and not overstock too much as it did. They had cashflow problems. Maybe they needed to take care of their accounts properly.

All these factors have been important but at different periods of time. The change in fashion affected the business during early 1990’s and the poor stat of the economy affected the firm at the late 1980’s. Laura Ashley changed many chief executives and that is also a factor which could have affected the business. Over all my research was done through secondary sources of data. Unfortunately, because the lack of time I did not have time to do some primary research such as interviewing people in the company etc. My appendix is based upon newspaper extracts and SECOS data. I also should have refered more to my appendix during my report.

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