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Ted Baker calls in administrators for UK arm

By Rachel Douglass


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Ted Baker store. Credits: Ted Baker

British retailer Ted Baker has called in administrators for its UK operations after struggling to deal with the damage caused by a partnership with former collaborator AARC.

As such, independent director Russell Downs and No Ordinary Designer Label (NODL), a subsidiary of the brand’s parent company Authentic Brands Group which trades under the Ted Baker name, have filed an intention to appoint joint administrators.

The move comes just weeks after NODL terminated its agreement with AARC after reporting “consistent failures” by the Dutch firm to “meet agreed financial obligations and inject promised funding into the business”.

While Authentic set about providing additional funding to allow the company to explore other options, including to support the search for a replacement, AARC’s failure to deliver combined with a difficult trading environment has forced the company to require the protection of a moratorium to go ahead with trading.

As the process begins, Ted Baker said it would continue to trade and customer orders were to still be fulfilled. Authentic noted that it remained in “advanced discussions” with several potential operating partners.

Ted Baker to remain trading, future of store fleet remains unclear

In a statement to FashionUnited, John McNamara, chief strategy and transition officer at Authentic, said: "Despite our tireless efforts, the damage done during a period under AARC in which NODL built up a significant level of arrears was too much to overcome.

"We wish that there could have been a better outcome for the Ted Baker employees and stakeholders. It is hopefully some consolation for customers that NODL will continue to trade online and in stores.

"We remain focused on securing a new partner to uphold and grow the Ted Baker brand in the UK and Europe where it began."

The administration comes nearly two years on from Authentic’s 211 million pound acquisition of Ted Baker, which encompassed the entire issued share capital of the brand in a deal made through a court-sanctioned arrangement under the UK’s Companies Act.

Following the takeover, Authentic went about integrating its standard third-party partner model into the business, striking a series of licensing deals with a number of global manufacturing and sourcing partners to expand the brand further afield.

The positivity did not last long, however, and in mid-2023 media reports began suggesting that 200 jobs in the company’s head office were to be eliminated as part of a strategic turnaround, launched upon Authentic’s acquisition.

With this latest news, it is believed that further job cuts could be expected. A report by Sky News said that the administration filing puts at risk hundreds of jobs across Ted Baker’s UK retail network as impending store closures are expected to follow.

What is exactly to come from the filing is not yet certain, however.

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