Ted Baker today posted a 33.6% rise in online sales in the first part of its financial year – but sales in its stores were more muted. The fashion and lifestyle brand, a Top250 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, said total retail sales, which include in-store as well as online sales, rose by 0.7% in the 19 weeks to June 9.
The figures come after a period in which UK visitor numbers to stores have fallen, compared to the previous year. Unseasonal weather as well as a longer-term shift in the way that shoppers are choosing to buy are thought to be behind that fall. But Ted Baker said its distribution model was well-placed to flex around changing customer behaviour. “Our flexible business model, including a relatively low number of own stores, enables us to respond to structural changes in the retail sector,” said Ted Baker in today’s trading statement. Ted Baker increased its retail space by 5.7% over the period, compared to last year. Wholesale sales grew by 14.2% over the period, with good performances in both its UK and North American businesses.
Ray Kelvin, founder and chief executive, said the company was pleased with customer response to its latest collections and with the brand’s expansion across each of its distribution channels, and was on track to meet expectations for the full year.
“We have made significant investment in our flexible business model to ensure that the Ted customer has multiple channels to engage with the brand,” he said. “Our global ecommerce business continues to grow very strongly and is complemented by our unique stores and digital and social selling strategy, which showcase the brand to our customers.”
He concluded: “The group’s continued progress and growth is a reflection of the design and quality of our collections as well as the sustained appeal of the Ted Baker brand. These strengths, along with our business model and the passion, skill and commitment of our team mean that, despite an uncertain consumer outlook, we are well positioned to continue Ted Baker’s long-term development.”
Commenting on the figures, Adrian West, director of commercial sector at Fujitsu UK, said: “Ted Baker has managed to make ecommerce a fundamental part of its success. The key here has been ensuring that wherever a consumer is shopping from, they get the same seamless experience. The business has made digital a fundamental part of the Ted Baker brand experience, rather than an add-on.
“In today’s retail landscape, retailers need to stop thinking of digital and the high-street as separate entities. Instead they must view them as one unified experience that links their customer journey seamlessly from one to the other, as shoppers don’t differentiate.”
West added: “Regardless of what kind of brand you are, shoppers increasingly expect convenience at the very least. Joining the dots between the in-store, the mobile, and the online experience is vital. By having the right digital strategy in place, retailers can map out their new, more agile future that will enable them to grow and sustain their business in this new digital era.”
Image courtesy of Ted Baker