Retail – Laura Ashley in crisis
The struggling retailer has secured a £20m loan from US bank Wells Fargo to fund its day-to-day operations following it’s battle to continue trading.
The company reported sales in the second half of 2019 fell by nearly 11% and it’s share price has dropped by 90% over the last five years.
Founded in 1953, it was a prominent name on the UK high street and one of the world’s leading clothing brands in the 70’s and 80’s. However, it seems to have lost its way – is it a home ware, furniture or clothing store?
Offices – Central London discounted
According to new data from search engine HubbleHQ, flexible office space saw a 20% discount on prices listed in 2019.
Farringdon saw the largest discount at 45% across London’s top 11 office zones, according to the data compiled in HubbleHQ’s first Flexible Office Index results.
Industrial – Kier sells units
Two units of its Logistics City development in Basingstoke have been sold to a US fund for an undisclosed sum.
One of the units is occupied by Thermo Fisher (nearly 50 sq ft) and the other by Network Rail (36 sq ft).
There is a third unit measuring nearly 23 sq ft that remains empty on the development and is being actively marketed.
Office – HSBC office space under threat
HSBC could be about to shed a tonne of London office space with it’s announcement of 35,000 jobs to go.
Analysts are predicting 15,000 roles will go in Britain alone, many of them at the lender’s Canary Wharf headquarters nicknamed the “Tower of Doom” by some staff.
Although London will remain a hub for investment banking, HSBC is shifting its structured products arm from the UK to Asia where it makes almost all of its profits.
Retail – The rug is pulled from under them
Axminster carpets, went into administration on Wednesday, following 265 years in the business and supplier of carpets to the royal family.
It is the second time the company has gone into administration in seven years. Back in 2013, the company was bought by a consortium led by private investor Stephen Boyd.
Duff and Phelps were appointed as administrators and the same day sold the Axminster Carpets underlay division, Axfelt, to Ulster Carpets.
It also anticipates selling the Axminster Carpet Shop to Wilton Flooring.