New York – British fashion and homeware brand Laura Ashley has appointed IMG as its new licensing partner to exclusively license the retailer in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in a bid to make up for widening losses back to the UK.
“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.
As explained in a corporate release, IMG will help the retailer broaden its portfolio of licensed products in line with the regions’ growing market trends. For example, in mainland China, home decoration and furnishings will be Laura Ashley’s initial core focus, with future extensions into womenswear, fashion accessories and personal care.
“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.”
He also highlighted that “This is an ideal time for a brand like Laura Ashley to enter the market with its distinctive design aesthetic.”
It’s worth recalling that Laura Ashley registered an annual loss of more than 14 million pounds after a collapse in demand for its signature floral home furnishings. This happened in late August, at a time when it said Brexit concerns had affected its business in their home market.