Flotation and Beyond(1985 onwards)
Bernard Ashley was knighted in the late 1980’s, which also saw the launch of the ‘Mother and Child’ collection, and the Laura Ashley Home collection, an exclusive range of home furnishings.
The company celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1993, as Sir Bernard retired as Chairman, and became honorary president, a post he held until 1998.
In May 1998, MUI Asia Limited became a major shareholder in Laura Ashley, and they remain committed to taking the company from strength to strength.
In 2005 the company moved its production operations on to one site in Newtown, Powys, where it currently produces paint, wallpaper and made to measure curtains.
The company has growing franchise operations all over the world, including the Far East, Australia, Scandinavia and South America, as well as increasing numbers of licensing projects for products including carpets, eyewear, scarves and bedlinen.
Under the leadership of the current Chief Executive Lillian Tan, the company has returned to profitability, posting profits of £12 million for the year 2006/2007. In April 2007 the company launched its first range of organic cotton fashion - the Archive Collection, based on Laura Ashley styles and prints from the 1960’s and 70’s. 2007 has also seen the company receive the House and Garden award for Design Retailer of the Year, voted for by the magazine’s readers, which acknowledges a retailer who has provided the best shopping experience in the past 18 months, both through the products sold, and the way they are displayed. This is a huge honour for the company, and reflects the progress made in recent years.