No one would have guessed that it would take a Malaysian woman who has spent more time in insurance than retail – and who speaks English as her second language – to turn around one of the most quintessentially British brands, Laura Ashley.
But in her five years at home furnishings and fashion retailer, Lillian Tan has restored profitability and steadied the ship after a stormy period that saw 10 chief executives come and go in 14 years.
Tan has done that, as the figures show. Under her watch, the business has gone from making a pre-tax loss of GBP14.1 million (USD21.7 million) in 2003, to a pre-tax profit of GBP11 million (USD16.9 million) in the year to 30 January.
(Source: Retail Week)