// Laura Ashley enters partnership with Next to sell its home products both online and in stores
// The lifestyle retailer fell into administration in April
// Investment firm Gordon Brothers bought the intellectual property and archives of Laura Ashley after its administration
Next has partnered with embattled retailer Laura Ashley to sell its home products both online and in stores in an effort to revive the heritage brand.
The homewares will be sold across Next’s 500 UK stores and via its website which operates in over 70 countries.
Laura Ashley became the first major retailer to collapse into administration this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Next sales drop 17.9% amid fears of forced store closures
- Laura Ashley drafts in advisers to market manufacturing base
Investment firm Gordon Brothers acquired the brand out of administration in April in a deal that included the retailer’s global brand, its archives and related intellectual property.
The deal did not include any of Laura Ashley’s 147 stores, nor its manufacturing and logistics operations in the UK or Ireland, and PwC is still seeking a buyer for this part of the business.
As part of the firm’s restructuring plans, Gordon Brothers has said it will focus on expanding Laura Ashley’s portfolio of licensees and franchisees, boosting its ecommerce presence and developing its wholesale relationships.
“Next is delighted to be partnering with Gordon Brothers and the Laura Ashley team to relaunch this iconic British brand,” Next chief executive Lord Wolfson said.
“We believe 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.”
Gordon Brothers international chief executive Frank Morton said: “We are truly delighted about this opportunity.
“Our partnership with Next allows us to embark on an exciting new chapter and relaunch the iconic Laura Ashley brand.
“Our decision to acquire the brand was based on the global awareness of Laura Ashley and customer affinity for the brand, which will be renewed through this partnership.”