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Teddy Smith’s UK distributor cuts ties with French owner

The UK distributor of Teddy Smith has ended its relationship with the young fashion brand’s eponymous parent company, citing “major issues” with the French business.

Teddy Smith, which was founded by president Philippe Bouloux in 1989, is thought to have about 150 UK stockists including young fashion indie Duffer Menswear in Preston, Northeast indie mini-chain Tucci and menswear indie Ray Hargreaves in Fleetwood, Lancashire.

Its UK distributor Teddy Smith UK, which is owned by Praful Shah, informed stockists last week that it would not deliver autumn 10 orders.

In a letter sent to stockists, Shah said: “We have had some major issues with our French counterparts and therefore decided not to continue with the brand in the UK. With the downturn in the current market we are unable to get their full support.”

The letter said the pound’s weakness against the euro had made the brand less competitive in the UK and the brand’s French styling had been “difficult” to market here.

“This has affected our UK sales drastically and it does not make commercial sense to continue in the current climate,” it added.

It is unclear whether the French parent company is seeking a new distributor.

Indies told Drapers they would replace Teddy Smith with brands such as young fashion brand Duck And Cover and Voi Jeans. They added that they had placed autumn orders but not yet paid for stock.

“It is a shock,” said one independent stockist, which had placed an autumn 10 order of £2,000 with the brand. “Teddy Smith has sold [well] in our store but not as much as a couple of years ago.”

Ilyas Patel, owner of Duffer Menswear, said the brand had suffered from increased competition in the young fashion sector.

Shah declined to comment and Teddy Smith in France did not respond to calls.

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