Ted Baker teeters on the brink of collapse

Iconic British fashion brand risks store closures and job losses.

Ted Baker teeters on the brink of collapse
Ted Baker

The stitches are unravelling for Ted Baker as the embattled British fashion retailer finds itself on the precipice of administration.

In a grim development, the company has filed notice to appoint insolvency practitioners Teneo Financial Advisory, putting hundreds of high street jobs under threat.

With over 500 stores and concessions worldwide, the potential impact could be severe, though the exact number of looming store closures and job losses is unclear. No redundancies will be announced immediately, but layoffs loom for Ted Baker's UK workforce.

The retailer has faced mounting issues in recent years. In 2019, founder Ray Kelvin left amid claims of inappropriate behaviour towards female staff. This sparked a downward spiral with profit warnings, accounting problems, and pandemic impacts, leading to major cost-cutting with hundreds of job cuts and emergency fundraising in 2020.

Even a £210 million acquisition by Authentic Brands Group (ABG) in 2022 failed to turn things around. A European licensing deal with a Dutch partner fell through, leaving Ted Baker heavily in debt.

As the company enters insolvency proceedings, ABG admits past missteps were "too much to overcome." But it plans to keep Ted Baker operating while seeking a new partner.

For now, the future remains uncertain for the 35-year-old retailer as it grapples with the fallout from its recent troubles. Another potential high street closure looms.

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