Laura Ashley to relaunch next year in partnership with Next
Laura Ashley will be relaunching in 2021 in partnership with high street fashion and home giant Next. The brand will reintroducing its homeware into Next stores and online after the two British retailers brokered a deal this month.
The move comes after 67-year-old Laura Ashley, known for its floral fashions and homewares, filed for administration in March, announcing it would permanently close 70 stores and cut 268 office jobs while furloughing more than 1,500 workers.
Laura Ashley hired PwC to advise on the administration process, blaming the impact of coronavirus for tipping it over the edge. In April the global advisory, restructuring, and investment firm, Gordon Brothers, acquired the global Laura Ashley brand, archives, and related intellectual property from its administrators.
Gordon Brothers is now resurrecting Laura Ashley with “a British team of designers continuing to fly the flag” for the brand, according to a spokesperson.
Laura Ashley head of brand and partnerships Poppy Marshall-Lawton said she was “very pleased” to be partnering with Next. She said: “We felt partnering with such a dynamic and British retailer such as Next was the perfect progression.
“Laura Ashley herself was always inspired by the past but excited about the future, so getting the chance to reinvigorate the brand is a perfect new chapter in our already fabulous story.”
Next CEO Simon Wolfson, added that the business was “delighted” to be partnering with Gordon Brothers and Laura Ashley.
He said: “We believe that the combination of the design vision of the Laura Ashley team alongside Next’s online and retail infrastructure can combine to revitalise this world-class brand.”
The partnership will see Next stock a selection. of upholstered furniture, home fragrance, mail order flowers and a new nursery range.
Recently Next was named as the new UK franchise partner for Victoria's Secret, after the US lingerie brand placed its UK operations into administration. Next will operate its UK stores as part of a joint venture company (in which Next controls 51%) and, from next year, will also take over the running of its UK e-commerce.