Ted Baker takes aim at online shoppers for important Christmas period

Alys Key
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Store sales will not be "amazing" according to Ray Kelvin, but online sales will deliver (Source: Ted Baker)

Ted Baker reported another period of solid growth this morning, as online shopping drove sales.

Chief executive Ray Kelvin said that he expects the brand to do "really well" online over Christmas, but that store sales will not be "amazing", due to ongoing political uncertainty.

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The figures

Revenue increased by 7.3 per cent for the 13 week period to 11 November. This was driven by a 30.5 per cent increase in online sales, meaning e-commerce now accounts for about one in five purchases.

But Ted Baker has also continued its track record of beating retail gloom, with store sales up 4.6 per cent.

Wholesale sales were up 14.2 per cent, pushing up the group's expectations for this section to double-digit growth for the year.

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Why it's interesting

While Ted Baker prefers to call itself an affordable luxury brand rather than a retailer, its bricks-and-mortar presence remains a crucial part of the business at a time when other companies are finding their store portfolios unwieldy. The group expanded its store space with a new store in Oxford and concessions in Canada, Germany and the UK.

By rolling out stores and concessions to a global audience, Ted Baker also appears to be less affected by Brexit uncertainty than UK high street stalwarts.

The increase in expectations for wholesale will come as welcome news for some investors after the last set of numbers showed growth had been slower in the US, where wholesale is a crucial part of the business. Today the group said performance in North America had improved.

Analysts at Liberum said: "The strength of the brand and the collections are clearly very strong to deliver this kind of a performance and provides much confidence in the full year outturn."

What Ted Baker said

Looking ahead, founder and CEO Ray Kelvin said that he expected the important Christmas period to be "positive" but not "amazing" for retail sales.

"I don't think it's going to do amazing at store level but I think we'll do really well online," he said. "There's too much uncertainty in the market with Brexit, but I think we're going to do really well: our online offer has improved enormously."

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