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Shopwatch: Ted Baker

Glasgow, where Ted Baker first set up shop in 1988, is now the scene for its new store celebrating not just the retailer’s past, but also great Scots.

Ted Baker has returned to its roots for its latest store in Glasgow, the city where the retailer made its retail debut.

The new 2,665 sq ft store, which opened at 61 Buchanan Street on March 28, pays tribute to Ted’s heritage with the theme ‘Great Scots and their world firsts’. It joins the original store, which opened on Prince’s Square when Ted was starting out in 1988 as a shirt specialist.

Ray Kelvin, founder and chief executive, tells Drapers the store, which is the business’s 33rd in the UK, has been well received.

“My Scottish customers are fantastic,” he says. “When we opened our first store in Prince’s Square back in 1988, they were the ones who made us feel welcome. Glasgow was hot back then. It was building up to become the European City of Culture and our Scottish customers were really receptive to ideas and to us as a brand. So now we [have opened] this amazing new store on Buchanan Street, it really is back to where it all began.”

Buchanan Street is one of Glasgow’s main shopping thoroughfares and also houses The Buchanan Quarter, a £70m development which opened in March 2013. Retailers in the area include Forever 21, Office, Jack Wills, Diesel and Urban Outfitters.

Ted Baker’s new arrival celebrates Scottish history and heritage and, as with all its stores, the shopfit is bespoke, with quirky, eye-catching installations. The company worked with London shopfitter Form Room, and its managing director Nina Constantin says she “loves working with Ted Baker as they are so innovative”, and praises the humour in its design concepts.

Situated on the ground floor of a listed building constructed in the 1840s, the interior has white-washed brick walls, and hosts what Ted Baker describes as an ‘electronic museum’. Wall-mounted grids carry curiosities including wires, clocks, magnified brains and Victorian doctors’ kits, which celebrate Scottish inventors. The product is shown off using free-standing or wall-mounted rails, with display tables for accessories and footwear.

So Scottish is the shopfit that even the cash desk is covered with a map of Glasgow and the ceiling designs are taken from the city’s coat of arms. Elsewhere, tongue-in-cheek props include a pipe-smoking Dolly the Sheep and a legless skeleton on a Victorian bicycle. One feature that stands out is a display case containing the first Ted Baker accessory: a men’s satchel from 1988. Updated versions of the bag, for both men and women, are sold exclusively in this store at £149 for the women’s and £245 for the men’s. As for the overall spring 14 collection, women’s starts from about £35 for a camisole, coats can reach up to £399 and dresses £999. On the men’s side, prices start at about £30 for a T-shirt, rising to£499 for suits.

There is a strong focus on digital in store, demonstrating that it’s not just heritage that is emphasised, but continual invention. Nine screens display Ted Baker’s spring 14 product on film, while outside the fitting rooms, interactive screens enable customers to try on outfits and send their pictures as an animated GIF to social networking sites.

This well-presented combination of past and present should go down well with those Glaswegians who are familiar with Ted’s quirky aesthetic.

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