// Laura Ashley hires IMG as new licencing partner
// IMG will exclusively license the brand in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan
Laura Ashley has appointed talent management company IMG as its new licensing partner to exclusively license the retailer in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
IMG will help the British home and fashion retailer to broaden its portfolio of licensed products in line with the regions’ growing market trends.
Increased purchasing power in China has led to the growth of the furniture market.
Total sales of furniture manufacturing enterprises grew 10 per cent year-on-year to more than $130 billion (£104.53 billion) in 2017.
For mainland China, home décor and furnishings will be Laura Ashley’s initial core focus, with future extensions into womenswear, fashion accessories and personal care.
“We are delighted to have appointed IMG on an exclusive basis to help us develop our brand presence in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan,” Laura Ashley chief operating officer Sean Anglim said.
“We look forward to working closely with IMG to build a strong and sustainable business in these territories over the years to come.”
IMG president of licensing Bruno Maglione said: “The Laura Ashley brand is loved around the world for its quintessentially English heritage and romantic floral designs.
“China has long been the furniture production capital of the world for export but now with urbanization and a growing middle class, expenditure in home furnishings and décor has become an increasing priority of the Chinese consumer.
“This is an ideal time for a brand like Laura Ashley to enter the market with its distinctive design aesthetic.”