Shift from for­mal doesn’t suit Ted Baker

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Laura Onita

FASH­ION chain Ted Baker’s rev­enues have slumped since lock­down as shop­pers shy away from for­mal clothes.

The re­tailer suf­fered a slump in sales to £60.9m for the 11 weeks to July 18, down 55pc on a year ear­lier amid a global col­lapse in de­mand.

Al­though on­line sales rose by 35pc with per­for­mance bet­ter than ex­pected, this was mostly be­cause the com­pany was forced to slash its prices to shift stock. Known for its flo­ral dresses, suits and work­wear, Ted Baker had been try­ing to move away from pro­mo­tions to pro­tect its prof­its.

The firm is in the mid­dle of a three­year turn­around plan un­der Rachel Os­borne, its chief ex­ec­u­tive, af­ter founder Ray Kelvin was forced out over ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions which he de­nies.

Rev­enues, were bet­ter than the com­pany feared when the pan­demic first hit. The shares rose al­most 14pc, or 9.8p, to 80p.

Ted Baker is in the process of ax­ing 660 staff as part of turn­around ef­forts. It has also ditched some of its sup­pli­ers in a bid to save money. In­vest­ment has been cut to less than £10m this fi­nan­cial year, but the com­pany will still spend cash on mar­ket­ing.

Al­most all of the re­tailer’s 560 sites are now open, with 75 branches now back for more than four weeks.

Ms Os­borne said the per­for­mance had been en­cour­ag­ing but more work must still be done.

Mean­while, dis­count chain Mata­lan also strug­gled to off­set the sales it lost in stores through its web­site for the 13 weeks to the end of May. To­tal sales were al­most £200m lower than last year at £75.3m.

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