Fashion chain Laura Ashley has filed for administration, putting up to 2,700 jobs at risk, after rescue talks were halted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The troubled retailer, which has stores in Workington, Carlisle and Kendal, had been in talks with stakeholders over refinancing, but it said its revised cash flow forecasts and increased uncertainty mean it will not be able to secure these funds in sufficient time.

Largest shareholder Mui Asia said it was unable to support the retailer with financial support in the required timeframe.

Laura Ashley, which has 150 stores in the UK employing around 2,700 staff, said it hired advisers from PwC to oversee the administration.

Earlier this week, it was reported that it was in discussions about the £15 million loan with private equity fund Hilco Capital to finance its immediate working capital requirements.

Laura Ashley said it had seen an upturn in sales in recent weeks, with trading up 24 per cent year-on-year for the seven weeks to March 13.

However, it said the covid-19 virus outbreak had an immediate and significant impact on trading, and ongoing developments indicate that this will be a sustained national situation.

The announcement comes after a challenging period for the clothing and furnishings brand, which saw pre-tax losses balloon to £4 million in 2019.

Sales for the year also plunged by 11 per cent to £109.6 million for the year.