Giving Laura Ashley A Yank

Ann Iverson has restored profits and refocused on the home

In April, Sir Bernard Ashley went to a North Carolina shopping mall to see a prototype of an expanded Laura Ashley store. As the company's largest shareholder and co-founder, Ashley knows how poorly the $512 million frocks-to-furniture business has fared since his wife Laura died in 1985. But the store, with its new focus on home furnishings, was packed with customers. "I almost cried, it was so marvelous," he says.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.