For the first time in its 56-year history, Laura Ashley now offers US customers the ability to puchase its fabrics, wallpapers and decorative accessories with an ecommerce site. The quintessentially English brand can be found in thousands of retail stores through North America and continues to sell its name-brand products via corporate-owned stores and franchises in over 30 countries. Branded products available at traditional brick-and-mortar stores can be found via the site's "Where to Buy" feature.
The company traces its roots to a young designer named Laura Ashley and her husband who began printing textiles from their basement flat. The business took off in 1953, when the headscarves worn by Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday" sparked a trend among young girls. Orders grew quickly for the enterprising couple, selling to London shops. In the 1960's, Laura Ashley began making shirts and gardening smocks and later translated them into dresses that became popular worldwide. Retail stores began opening in London and beyond and home furnishings and accessories were added to the line in the 1970's, making Laura Ashley a complete lifestyle brand.
Today there is a rich archive, as well as new designs, for a product range that includes bed linens, lighting and gardening tools and accessories to girl’s dresses and shoes and Christening apparel. In addition, select licensed products are also available. Laura Ashley's unique 56-year heritage gives it a rich archive of designs that inspire a diverse portfolio of classic and contemporary collections for beautiful living. Ecommerce will enhance Laura Ashley's existing distribution channels in the United States, which includes a full range of licensed products sold through a variety of department, specialty and online retailers in North America. "The U.S. site is expanding on the success of the U.K. ecommerce operations, which has enjoyed year after year double-digit growth," said Laura Ashley, Inc. President Penne Cairoli. "The uniqueness of product along with the elegance of the fabric and wallpaper collections have been the key to the brand's continued success in the U.K."