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Ted Baker on how its stores help to boost online sales

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Ted Baker today pointed to the importance of stores to its ecommerce business, as it reported fast online growth but falling like-for-like store sales in the first half of its financial year.

The fashion and lifestyle brand, a Top250 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, said that its ecommerce sales grew by 24.1% to £53m in the first half of its financial year, while sales per square foot of retail space, excluding ecommerce, fell to £396 from £437 last time – down by 9.4%. Even when ecommerce was included, sales per square foot were still down, at £521 from £544 last time, a drop of 4.2%. At the same time, retail store space grew by 5.9% to 433,466 sq ft at the end of the period. Together, these figures, said the retailer, demonstrated both “challenging external trading conditions together with changing customer behaviour with customers shopping both online and in store.”

But, it said, despite the fact that shoppers are spending less in store, stores remain important to the business. 

“Our unique stores showcase the Ted Baker brand and are key to the growth and success of our ecommerce business,” it said. “Our relatively low number of own stores and higher number of concession locations allows us to maintain a flexible store business model.”

Overall, group revenue of £306m in the 28 weeks to August 11 was 3.5% up on the same time last year, with retail sales including ecommerce up by 1.1% to £220.1m.

The retailer sells online as well as via stores and concessions in the UK and Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. It has localised ecommerce sites in the UK, Europe, the US, Canada and Australia.

The UK and Europe remains Ted Baker’s largest market. Here, retail sales of £147.1m were 1% up on last time, while ecommerce sales of £42.6m were 22.9% up. Sales per square foot excluding ecommerce were down by 10% at £395, from £439 last time. Of the 317 branches that Ted Baker has in this region, 40 are owned stores, 252 concessions, 19 outlets,  and six are partner stores or concessions.

Half-year sales grew in North America (+1.8% at £61.8m) boosted by online (+35.8% at £8.7m) and wholesale (+18% at £31m), while in the rest of the world, retail revenue fell by 1.8% to £11.2m, while online sales of £1.7m were up by £54.5% from a low base of £1.1m last time. The retailer has 129  stores in North America, including 35 own stores, and 98 in the rest of the world, including 10 owned stores.

Wholesale (+10.1% at £85.9m) and licence income (+11.7% at £10.9m) both grew strongly as sales through third-party retailers increased. 

Ray Kelvin, founder of chief executive of Ted Baker, said: “Ted Baker has continued to develop and expand as a global lifestyle brand across its market and distribution channels despite challenging external trading conditions. This continued growth is testament to the strength of the Ted Baker brand, the design and quality of our collections as well as the dedication and talent of our teams.

“While we believe that the second half of the year will remain challenging due to external factors, we are well positioned to continue Ted Baker’s long-term development. Our flexible business model ensures that our customer has multiple channels to engage with Ted Baker and our global ecommerce business continues to expand, supported by our digital marketing strategy and unique stores that showcase the brand.”

House of Fraser’s failure cost the business £0.6m, compared to an income of £1.1m at the same time last year. The figure is related to the money owed by House of Fraser at the time when it went into administration this August. 

Image courtesy of Ted Baker

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