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Laura Ashley returns to high street with Next partnership

Laura Ashley is set to return to the UK high street next year with a new partnership with Next, which will sell its homeware products and will launch a series of new stores.

According to The Guardian, the clothing and home furnishing retailer said it will reintroduce its homeware via Next’s UK stores and website which operates in over 70 countries, from spring 2021.

A Laura Ashley-branded flagship store is also reportedly planned for the Westfield shopping centre in west London, followed by others elsewhere in the UK.

The retailer became one of the first major brands to go into administration this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 67-year-old brand had previously announced it would permanently close 70 stores in mid-March whilst it planned to make “268 office jobs” redundant and furlough more than 1,500 workers.

Laura Ashley hired PwC as administrator for the process and blamed the impact of coronavirus for tipping the company “over the edge”.

The investment firm Gordon Brothers acquired Laura Ashley out of administration in a deal that included its global brand, archives and related intellectual property.

Laura Ashley will “relaunch” under Gordon Brothers in a new partnership with a UK team of designers continuing to “fly the flag” for the British heritage brand.

Lord Wolfson, CEO of Next, told The Guardian: “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.”

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