Laura Ashley to start franchising in Europe

UK-based home furnishings and clothing franchise Laura Ashley has announced its plans to continue its European expansion through franchising. Laura Ashley is looking for Area Developers in Belarus; Germany; Hungary; Monaco and Poland.

"Laura Ashley is already operating across 25 countries worldwide and is keen to continue replicating its successful concept within the European market," said Senior International Franchise Manager for Laura Ashley, Bernard Smith.

"Our clothing and furniture range has already been well received in Spain and other European countries and this is because Laura Ashley is not your average clothing and furniture store. We have a great design team onboard developing new, quality products for our loyal customers.

"We are looking for prospective Area Developers with a good understanding of the retail sector to build a network of a minimum of five franchised shops within a set territory. Area Developers will be required to set up and operate their own warehouse, as well as organise shipping routes and hire buyers for both the fashion and commercial ranges.

"As part of the franchise package Area Developers will have access to ongoing training and support, which includes an initial training course in the UK, an operational pack and help from the in-house franchise support department."

Laura Ashley has appointed Norwich-based franchise consultants, Franchise Development Services (FDS) to facilitate the European development.

Roy Seaman, Managing Director of FDS, commented: "We are delighted to have secured the contract with Laura Ashley. A company we introduced to Laura Ashley earlier this year already has two locations trading in the UAE. Our aim is to repeat this success in a number of other European and International markets."