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Ted Baker’s Troubles: Administration Threatens Hundreds Of Jobs

High-street fashion chain Ted Baker is on the brink of administration, posing a threat to hundreds of jobs.

Authentic Brands Group, which has owned the Ted Baker brand since 2022, expressed that the fallout from a partnership with another company proved insurmountable.

“While the damage done during the tie-up with another firm was too much to overcome, Ted Baker will persist in trading, and customer orders will be fulfilled,” stated Authentic, the US-based parent company.

Authentic revealed that it is currently in “advanced discussions” with several potential buyers for the Ted Baker brand.

Ted Baker, which operates 46 stores alongside an e-commerce platform and department store concessions, employs approximately 975 individuals.

However, Authentic did not disclose any specifics regarding potential job losses in its statement.

John McNamara, chief strategy and transition officer at Authentic Brands Group, expressed regret, stating, “We wish that there could have been a better outcome for the Ted Baker employees and stakeholders.”

He sought to reassure customers, mentioning that Ted Baker “will continue to trade online and in stores.”

Explaining the situation further, McNamara highlighted that Ted Baker’s holding company in the UK and Europe, No Ordinary Designer Label (NODL), accumulated significant arrears during its collaboration with Dutch firm AARC. He indicated that the aftermath was too severe to surmount.

The partnership with AARC, which oversaw Ted Baker’s operations in Europe, concluded in January.

Founded as a menswear brand in Glasgow in 1988, Ted Baker expanded to establish a presence in the UK and US, as well as concessions in department stores. It also holds licensing agreements for stores in cities across Asia and the Middle East.

Authentic Brands Group, which owns Reebok, Hunter, and Juicy Couture, among other brands, acquired Ted Baker two years ago in a £211 million deal.

The move to appoint administrators, reportedly restructuring firm Teneo, follows a period of prolonged instability within the company.

In 2019, Ted Baker’s founder, Ray Kelvin, resigned amidst allegations of misconduct, including “forced hugging.”

Despite Kelvin’s denial of the allegations, reports emerged of his alleged inappropriate behavior, including engaging staff in unwelcome embraces and making inappropriate requests to young female employees.

The subsequent year saw the resignation of his successor, Lindsay Page, and chairman David Bernstein following a profit warning. Additionally, shares plummeted after an accounting error.

Kelvin returned to the company in an advisory capacity about a year following the “forced hugging” scandal.

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