Laura Ashley to Open Boutique Hotel
What the luxury labels start, the high street tends to follow. British fashion and home furnishings retailer Laura Ashley will be treading in the footsteps of luxury fashion brands such as Missoni and Versace, by opening its own hotel.
The brand – famous for its floral textiles and quintessentially pretty English aesthetic – has bought a 49-room hotel in Hertfordshire in South England for £5.8m ($9.28). Laura Ashley’s chief operating officer Sean Anglim describes the project as a “brand showcase” – the hotel will be filled entirely with Laura Ashley furniture, wallpapers and fabrics.
The ultimate aim, of course, is that guests will be seduced by the immersion into the Laura Ashley lifestyle, and will swiftly become dedicated customers.
The plans reflect a wider move in retail towards experiential design that helps brands engage more deeply with consumers beyond the obvious hard sell.