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Ted Baker to close concept store but plots further expansion

Ted Baker will close the Ted Baker & Moore concept store on Commercial Road in east London next month after less than two years.

The 6,000 sq ft concept store opened in June 2015 to showcase the brand’s licence products, including footwear, watches, jewellery, glasses and sunglasses, bicycles and audio products.

Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin said: “It has done its job to showcase all the products but, on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t fit with the portfolio, so we’re moving on.”

He did not rule out opening more concept stores in future, but said none are currently in the pipeline: “It’s all about being appropriate for the brand,” he explained.

The firm is poised to launch a new golf range for men, but Kelvin said, in terms of licence product and category expansion, “we have done pretty much everything we should do”.

“Now it is about focusing more on the right things and remaining relevant,” he added.

Earlier today, Ted Baker reported that sales soared 16.4% on a constant-currency basis to £531m for the year to 28 January, while profit before tax rose 4.4%to £61.3m.

Kelvin said the business traded well despite a backdrop of “ongoing challenges across global markets”.

He admitted that the US market was probably the most challenging at the moment because of the strength of the dollar, but insisted that the company and brand was very resilient.

Ted Baker plans to open stores in Oxford and Paris, an outlet in Gloucester and its first Dutch outlet in Roermond in the coming year, as well as new concessions in the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

In North America, it will open in Los Angeles and Houston, and will relocate in Miami. The firm will also open new concessions in Canada with a premium department store.

In Asia, Ted Baker has relocated a store in Tokyo and plans to open a further store in Shanghai and new concessions in Japan and South Korea.

There are also new franchise stores planned for Australia, Dubai, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, along with its first store in India.

Kelvin confirmed he had met with Marks & Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe recently but brushed off any suggestions that Ted Baker would be stocked in the chain’s stores any time soon.

“We talked about Millwall and Spurs,” he quipped.

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