Ted Baker delivers festive cheer

Ted BakerChristmas sales have surged by a fifth at designer fashion brand Ted Baker, despite the gloomy economic climate and a reluctance to use promotions and price reductions to lure in bargain-hunting customers.

Smaller gift items such as purses and handbags sold particularly well over the holiday period, while staple items such as formal suits, for which the company is well known, continued to perform well.
Total retail sales rose 20.9% during the eight-week Christmas period to January 5, and the company also sold more online than in any previous year, with internet shopping climbing 50% on last year.

Ted Baker's retail business currently makes up 40% of the company, which also supplies other retail chains with wholesale products.

The group said the retail figures in its trading update were "in line with expectations" and that it would be able to start the new year with fresh stock.

Part of the sales boost was down to the chain expanding in the UK. In the eight-week Christmas period alone, it increased its sales floor space by 13.9%.

It said its European stores also "performed well" and that it was making good progress in expanding into US and Asian markets, which it sees as vital for the future of the company. The company opened its first store in Toronto just before the holidays.

Chief executive Ray Kelvin, who founded the company as a Glasgow shirt store in 1988, said: "The group has delivered a good result over the Christmas period.

"We were pleased by the performance in markets where the brand is established and continue to build brand awareness in our newer markets, where we are investing for the longer term."

The company also announced that Robert Breare has stepped down as non executive chairman after more than 11 years. He has been succeeded by David Bernstein, the current chairman of the Football Association, who has sat on the board of Ted Baker since 2003.
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