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Ted Baker calls in administrators

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Fashion and homeware brand Ted Baker is set to appoint Teneo Financial Advisory as administrators.

No Ordinary Designer Label – the parent company of Ted Baker, which is owned by Authentic Brands Group (ABG) – has filed a notice to appoint administrators, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

While Ted Baker will continue to trade during the insolvency process, the move is expected to result in store closures and job losses – although the scale of both is unclear.

ABG only bought the fashion chain around 18 months ago for £211mn. In February, ABG terminated its relationship with AARC, the Dutch firm that it hired to run Ted Baker’s stores and ecommerce operations in the UK and Europe.

“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,” said John McNamara, Authentic’s chief strategy and transition officer.

“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.”

The RetailX UK Luxury report in 2022 highlighted early signs of trouble for the brand, which was set up in Glasgow in 1988. The report found in 2021 Ted Baker revenues were more than a third lower than the same time pre-pandemic. Ecommerce sales also fell to £63.6mn in 2021.

Furthermore, there were technical problems with the launch of the new ecommerce platform at the same time as shoppers returned in-store. At the time Ted Baker said that data integration issues had been a factor, affecting both product availability and the effectiveness of digital marketing.

Footfall to its stores in travel locations and in city centres also remained low. There has been a raft of its own store closures, as well as 28 concessions in branches of House of Fraser, which it supplied on a wholesale basis.

Ted Baker is not the first retailer to call in administrators in 2024. Matches was put into administration by Frasers Group in March. It also follows The Body Shop’s UK arm collapsing in February.

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