Laura Ashley Begins NEXT Chapter
Date October 29, 2020
Gordon Brothers, the global advisory, restructuring and investment firm, announced Laura Ashley® has chosen to partner with NEXT plc to reintroduce their home products online and in stores nationwide. NEXT has over 500 stores in the U.K. and Eire and an online presence in over 70 countries making them an ideal retail partner to continue Laura Ashley’s story.
As owners of the Laura Ashley brand, the partnership with NEXT is an important part of the brand’s evolution and Gordon Brothers’ continued priorities to expand the portfolio of licensees and franchisees, bolster e-commerce presence and develop more strategic wholesale and retail relationships.
Gordon Brothers acquired the Laura Ashley brand, archives and related intellectual property in April 2020.
“We are truly delighted about this opportunity,” said Frank Morton, CEO of International for Gordon Brothers. “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.”
Simon Wolfson, CEO at NEXT said: “NEXT is delighted to be partnering with Gordon Brothers and the Laura Ashley team to re-launch this iconic British brand. 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.”
Gordon Brothers’ multipronged role in Laura Ashley’s transformation — acquiring the brand and converting it to an “asset-light” licensing model — serves as an illustration of the firm’s ability to execute various types of transactions and leverage a deep understanding of asset values to take risks with their capital.
Gordon Brothers’ brands division values, acquires, restructures and invests globally in underleveraged, distressed or dormant intellectual property to help revive and reimagine some of the world’s most iconic brands.
The division’s innovative approach to cultivating the brand —and the loyalty that goes with it—through strategic licensing arrangements with firms that specialize in various aspects of retail allows for the flexibility to focus on what is most critical for a company’s evolution.
About Gordon Brothers
Since 1903, Gordon Brothers (www.gordonbrothers.com) has helped lenders, operating executives, advisors and investors move forward through change. The firm brings a powerful combination of expertise and capital to clients, developing customized solutions on an integrated or standalone basis across four service areas: valuations, dispositions, operations and investments. Whether to fuel growth or facilitate strategic consolidation, Gordon Brothers partners with companies in the retail, commercial and industrial sectors to put assets to their highest and best use. Gordon Brothers conducts more than $70 billion worth of dispositions and appraisals annually. Gordon Brothers is headquartered in Boston, with 25 offices across five continents.