Retail woe

Ted Baker owner poised to appoint administrators

Ted Baker girl
Ted Baker has become a global brand but now faces an uncertain future

High street retailer Ted Baker’s future is uncertain after the chain’s British operations were set to appoint administrators.

Authentic Brands Group, which has owned the brand since 2022, said that “damage done” during a tie-up with another firm was “too much to overcome”.

It is understood that Teneo Financial Advisory was standing by as administrators, as employees and suppliers await news of any immediate affect on the 975 employees and 46 stores.

Ted Baker began as a menswear brand in Glasgow in 1987 and grew to have shops in the UK and US, as well as concessions in department stores.

In recent years it has been beset by a number of controversies and setbacks. In 2019 founder Ray Kelvin left amid claims of inappropriate behaviour towards female colleagues.

It later issued a series of profit warnings and accounting mishaps and in 2020 it axed hundreds of jobs and raised £100m to shore up its balance sheet.

About 18 months ago it delisted from the London stock market after being bought by ABG for about £210m.

A subsequent brand licensing partnership with AARC, a Dutch company, was recently abandoned amid a dispute between the parties.

Sources said Ted Baker would continue to trade during the insolvency process.

ABG’s chief strategy and transition officer, John McNamara, said: “Despite our tireless efforts, the damage done during a period under AARC in which NODL built up a significant level of arrears was too much to overcome.

“We wish that there could have been a better outcome for the Ted Baker employees and stakeholders. It is hopefully some consolation for customers that NODL will continue to trade online and in stores.

“We remain focused on securing a new partner to uphold and grow the Ted Baker brand in the UK and Europe where it began.”

Harvey Nichols job cuts

Department store business Harvey Nichols is to axe roles at its head office amid rising costs and as it suffers from the government’s removal of VAT relief for tourists.

It intends to make about 60 redundancies, subject to consultaiton with affected staff. The total equates to fewer than 5% of employees.

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