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Ted Baker ready to rethink its wholesale distribution

Ted Baker is reviewing its wholesale distribution strategy to protect the brand and capitalise on increasing customer demand for smarter styles.

The company said it would rethink its relationship with retailers where the profile was no longer appropriate for the brand

Chief executive and founder Ray Kelvin told Drapers: "We need to manage the brand and protect the profile and if it means we don't sell to certain retailers, that's what will happen. There may be some chains that are more geared up to sell casualwear, rather than smarter product.

"Shoppers are demanding more sophisticated product across the board, which suits us. But we are very happy with the performance of our wholesale business and group performance has been very strong."

Retail sales were up 12.1% for the seven weeks to March 17. Wholesale sales were up 11.2%, but the company said this was against weak comparisons and that it expected conditions to remain difficult for some of its wholesale customers.

Wholesale sales for the year to January 27 fell 3.5%.

Kelvin said that up to 12 more Ted Baker stores could open in Asia and the Middle East. The retailer opened six licensed stores in Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta and Hong Kong in the past financial year. It also has seven stores in the US.

TED BAKER BY NUMBERS

Figures for the year to January 27

Total group sales: up 6.6% to £125.6 million

Profit before tax: up 9.2% to £20m

UK and Europe retail sales: up 9.2% to £80m

Income from licenses: including international partnerships and footwear, lingerie, accessories and perfume up 14.3% to £4m

Store count: 29 stores, 78 concessions and 450 stockists in the UK and RoI (at year-end).

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