Investment firm Gordon Brothers has acquired the rights to the Laura Ashley brands but its 147 stores are not included in the deal.
Sofie Willmott, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on this news; “Laura Ashley’s sale agreement with its stores excluded, brings more bad news for retail landlords who have been hard hit as non-essential retailers have been forced to close stores with some refusing or unable to pay rent. The format of the sale follows a similar pattern to other fashion brands that have been rescued in the past few years including Karen Millen, Coast and Orla Kiely – all of which have lived on but without their physical stores, as retail spend continues to shift online.
“If other fashion brands that have tumbled into administration in recent weeks including Oasis, Warehouse and Cath Kidston, are rescued, sale agreements are likely to follow the same format, with the physical high street’s troubles exacerbated by COVID-19. With more retail casualties expected in the coming months and shoppers set to be wary of returning to shopping locations once they are able to, landlords are likely to end up with many more empty units by the end of 2020.”