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Ted Baker plans retail expansion

Ted Baker is understood to be targeting dozens more sites in the US for new stores, with European openings also in the company’s sights.

The premium men’s and women’s lifestyle retailer is hoping to roll out its quirky and individual store concept across the US on the back of increasing sales in its existing nine stores in the country.

It is understood that on a longer-term basis the business will also target European countries including Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Ted Baker opened its first US store in 1998 in New York, and its total US sales have grown to £9.7 million for the year to January 26, up 5.6% on the previous year.
The retailer is also set to open more UK stores, with shops due to open in Bristol, Liverpool and the Westfield London shopping centre in London’s White City before the end of the year.

Seymour Pierce analyst Freddie George upgraded Ted Baker’s stock from outperform to buy, after an analyst and investor meeting with the company.

George said recent positive trading – a group sales increase of 8.4% for the 19 weeks to June 7 – had been overlooked and that global expansion plans and the potential to develop the business made it attractive to investors.

“The quirkiness of the brand gives it a distinct personality, especially overseas,” said George. “All the stores are different and there is a lot of potential to develop the brand, especially in womenswear where it competes with some very premium brands. They have proved they can make it work in the US so if they got a good offer for a site in Europe I think they would take it.”

He predicted that pre-tax profits for the year would be about £7m, similar to last year, because of the higher costs involved in opening 11 stores.

Ted Baker is due to report its interim results for the 28 weeks to August 9 on October 2. The company was unavailable for comment.

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