The Laura Ashley brand has been acquired by US advisory firm Gordon Brothers after falling into administration last month when rescue talks were thwarted by Covid-19 concerns.
Gordon Brothers said it will consider “several go-to-market strategies” for the struggling British fashion and homeware retailer, which could include the closure of stores in the UK and Ireland as it looks to achieve a “streamlined portfolio” in those key markets.
The company also said it intends to place a strong focus on “building e-commerce, developing more strategic wholesale relationships, and expanding the portfolio of licensees and franchisees globally.”
The news comes just a week after Gordon Brothers sold British streetwear brand Bench to fashion firm Apparel Brands Limited.
Laura Ashley rescued from administration
“Laura Ashley is a true giant among British lifestyle brands, possessing a unique ability to span geographies, product categories, and price points,” said Ramez Toubassy, president of brands for Gordon Brothers, in a statement.
“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.”
Prior to filing for administration last month, Laura Ashley found itself in the growing list of retailers battling to keep up with the fast-changing industry. Already struggling, the Covid-19 outbreak and its wider impact on the retail industry proved too much pressure for Laura Ashley and it filed for administration.
While the company reported a strong 27.7 percent year-on-year increase in total sales for the seven weeks to 13 March, that was against a broader backdrop of poor trading over the last few years. For the 26 weeks to 31 December, losses before tax widened by 166 percent to 4 million pounds compared to 1.5 million pounds the prior year.
Photo credit: Laura Ashley, Facebook