Laura Ashley brand bought by Gordon Brothers
Gordon Brothers, the global advisory, restructuring, and investment firm, has acquired the global Laura Ashley brand, archives, and related intellectual property from the group’s administrators.
The move places a question mark over the brand's stores as the investors say they are now looking at "go to market strategies" some of which "could include retaining a streamlined portfolio of retail stores in key markets within the UK and Ireland".
“Laura Ashley is a true giant among British lifestyle brands, possessing a unique ability to span geographies, product categories, and price points,” commented Ramez Toubassy, President of Brands for Gordon Brothers.
“We feel humbled and inspired by the responsibility to reignite Mrs. Ashley’s original vision while delivering unique and contemporary products to both long-time followers and new customers from around the world,” he added.
The brand was founded in 1953 by husband and wife team Bernard and Laura Ashley and grew to become a globally recognised fashion and furnishing brand, known in particular for its floral designs.
However it has been struggling of late and said the coronavirus crisis had tipped it over the edge. At the end of last month filed notice of its intention to appoint administrators and closed 70 of its stores, leaving 77 still in operation, though closed with all of non-essential retail at the moment.
Following the appointment of PwC, a further 268 jobs were cut, while a buyer was sought for the business. “Throughout this process, Gordon Brothers has shown a passion for the Laura Ashley brand and I am delighted that, under their ownership, there will be a real opportunity to grow its profile worldwide,” said Rob Lewis, Joint Administrator of several of the Laura Ashley group companies in the UK.
He continued: “Whilst we have taken an important step forward in securing the sale of the brand, we continue to explore opportunities to reshape the UK store based retail and manufacturing businesses and are very grateful for the efforts of the entire team at Laura Ashley in helping us with those discussions.”