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‘Hold on,’ Kelvin urges stockists

Ted Baker chief executive Ray Kelvin has urged its stockists and smaller retailers to “hold on” through the recession, and pledged commitment to the business’s wholesale operation despite falling sales.

Ted Baker’s wholesale sales fell 12.2% to £34.3 million for the 53 weeks to January 31, due to a combination of fewer doors and tougher trading for its stockists.
The company said it expected a similar decline this year. However, Kelvin said the business was still fully committed to its wholesale base.

He said: “We still believe in the wholesale side and it will come back. Retailers just have to try to get through [the downturn] and we’ll all be in a better position. Everyone can run their businesses better. Make sure the stock is presented in the right way and that you are doing your best, because it will get better.”
Ted Baker’s retail sales were up 14.8% to £118.2m over the period, with UK and European stores showing an increase of 15.5% to £107.8m. Group profit before tax and impairment fell by 11.4% to £19.6m

Kelvin also slammed the practice of pre-pack administrations, whereby firms that have gone bust are instantly bought back by the existing management.
“I’m not happy about pre-packs. It’s a bit unfair when I’m paying in full that a business can do new deals with landlords.”

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