Retail challenge

Frasers and Next cast an eye over Ted Baker

Ted Baker gift
Ted Baker has become the latest casualty of a tough high street

Two of the big winners in the retail sector are said to be eyeing Ted Baker which has just closed 15 of its UK stores.

Frasers Group and Next have spoken to administrators at Teneo Advisory about acquiring the assets of the collapsed brand’s retail and ecommerce business No Ordinary Designer Label.

Authentic Brands Group bought Ted Baker for £211 million just two years ago but a partnership with Dutch company AARC ended earlier this year.

Ted Baker employed about 975 people and operated 46 British and European shops along with a website and department store concessions. The closure of 11 stores will affect about 120 roles. A further four shops are due to shut.

Frasers and Next are said to have been given six weeks to submit a bid for the assets.

Both companies have managed to trade successfully through the problems affecting the broader retail trade and have been acquirers of other struggling businesses.

Frasers now incorporates the eponymous department stores, the discount Sports Direct leisurewear chain, Flannels, and Evans cycles.

It recently acquired Matchesfashion, a luxury online fashion platform, Wiggle, the cycling retailer, and the fast-fashion brands Missguided, which it has since sold to Shein, and I Saw It First. Other brands include Jack Wills, Sofa.com, Game, and Gieves & Hawkes. It has being buying takes in online businesses such as AO World, Currys, Boohoo and Asos.

Next has acquired FatFace, Joules and Made.com, the online furniture retailer. Cath Kidston and JoJo Maman Bébé, the maternity retailer, are also part of the group’s portfolio and it has developed partnership deals with Victoria’s Secret and Gap.

Apart from Ted Baker, Next has cast an eye over The Body Shop, the collapsed cosmetics chain, but a deision to put its intellectual property assets into a separate entity before appointing administrators is thought to have cooled its interest.

IT could be in pole position for Ted Baker as it is already the licensing partner for the business’s children’s wear, lingerie and nightwear.



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