ted baker

Ted Baker Management Exits as Authentic Inks New Deals for the British Brand

Ted Baker Management Exits as Authentic Inks New Deals for the British Brand

LONDON — Authentic Brands Group said Thursday it has inked long-term strategic deals with two new operating partners, PDS Group and AARC, to run the Ted Baker brand in the U.K. and Europe.
PDS, a design-led fashion sourcing and manufacturing platform, will become a “core licensee and operating partner” for Ted Baker through a global subsidiary, Authentic said.

It will serve as the “global hub” for the newly established Ted Baker Design Group and take on design and merchandising functions for the brand. It will be located at Ted Baker’s current London headquarters at 101 Cleveland Street in London, and oversee all design, development and product innovation.

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Ted Baker’s global distribution partners will purchase the brand’s core categories from Ted Baker Design Group, including men’s and women’s sportswear and outerwear, men’s dress shirts, women’s dresses and fashion handbags.

Additionally, the group will service wholesale accounts in the U.K. and Europe.

Authentic has also signed a partnership with AARC to operate Ted Baker’s 120-plus retail stores and concessions, and the brand’s online business. AARC is a retail operator in 11 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

As a result of the changes, Rachel Osborne, CEO of Ted Baker, along with other senior executives, will step down from their roles.

“This change is part of a broader transformation process as Ted Baker shifts toward Authentic’s licensing model, which partners with leading operators to optimize brand value in the marketplace,” said Authentic.

Other senior executives who will depart from Ted Baker include chief financial officer Marc Dench, chief people officer Peter Collyer and group commercial, and business development director Helen Costello. 

“I would like to thank all our colleagues at Ted Baker for their enduring support and commitment during our tenure at the business. Ted Baker remains an iconic name with global brand recognition and we feel privileged to have helped the business through this transition period,” said Osborne.

John McNamara, chief transition officer at ABG, said Ted Baker Design Group is derived from the model “through which we have seen great success with Reebok. The formation of [Ted Baker Design Group], supported by the expertise of PDS, AARC and Authentic, positions the brand for continued growth and expansion around the world.”

Authentic Brands Group Picks OSL to Operate Ted Baker in North America

Authentic Brands Group Picks OSL to Operate Ted Baker in North America

Authentic Brands Group has signed the first license for one of the newest members of its family: Ted Baker.
In October, the brand development and marketing platform closed a deal to acquire the London-based brand for 211 million pounds, or $254 million. And now, it has identified a partner to help grow the business in North America.

Authentic has signed a long-term strategic partnership with OSL Retail Services, an Ontario, Canada-based firm that specializes in retail operations, distribution and digital marketing for a roster of Fortune 500 companies including Walmart Inc. and Samsung.

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Under the terms of the deal, the current New York-based Ted Baker team will join OSL where the companies will work together to manage the company’s 80-plus retail stores and concessions, wholesale distribution and the TedBaker.com website in the U.S. and Canada.

Core categories will include men’s and women’s sportswear and outerwear, men’s dress shirts, women’s dresses and fashion handbags that will continue to be designed and supplied by Ted Baker’s headquarters in London.

In its last annual report as a public company, North America had represented 30 percent of Ted Baker’s overall sales of 428 million pounds as of Jan. 29, 2022. An Authentic spokesperson did not reveal what percentage of Ted Baker’s business is in North America. Overall, the brand operates 191 stores, in-store shops and outlets in 49 countries.

“A key component of our growth strategy was to secure a leading North American operator for Ted Baker and continue to preserve the brand’s U.K.-based design hub,” said John McNamara, chief transition officer for Authentic, who has been leading the transition. “This partnership checks an important box within Authentic’s global Ted Baker strategy of assembling a network of leading partners who are operational experts around the world. We are very pleased to partner with retail pioneer OSL on this strategy.”

“Ted Baker is a uniquely British brand with a rich heritage, and we look forward to continuing to elevate the brand’s position in the U.S. and Canada, enhancing its relationship with its existing consumer base and growing its fan base across North America,” said Brett Farren, chief executive officer of OSL.

At the time of the acquisition last year, Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of Authentic, said the plan for Ted Baker was to build on the brand’s global foundation through a business model focused on licensing, wholesale, retail, digital and strategic marketing partnerships.

Ted Baker was founded by Ray Kelvin in 1987, and for decades was a recognizable brand on the British high street with its quirky, colorful take on the season’s trends. However, the past few years haven’t been easy for the business. Kelvin resigned in 2019 amid staff complaints about inappropriate physical contact (which he always denied), and the company posted a string of profit warnings and suffered accounting and management troubles.

With those issues in the rearview mirror, Ted Baker can settle into the Authentic fold and take advantage of its global expertise.

For the past few years, Authentic has been the primary player in the acquisition market around the world. Most recently, it purchased Reebok from Adidas for 2.1 billion euros, and also partnered with David Beckham to own and manage his business, DB Ventures.

But the company is not stopping there. It is close to finalizing a purchase of Boardriders Inc., the owner of Quiksilver and Billabong, in a deal expected to be in the $1.3 billion range, sources said.

The purchase is still being finalized and the timing keeps getting pushed back but it is not expected to happen this week, according to sources.

The acquisition of Boardriders would fit well into Authentic’s licensing model and would complement its Volcom surf and skate brand as well as some of its other sports-related properties, such as Spyder and Prince.

While reports have circulated about Authentic’s interest in Hunter Boots, a source said the company is not seriously considering a purchase at this time, though it had expressed initial interest. Instead, the focus is on completing the deal for Boardriders and further cementing Ted Baker’s partners.

Authentic owns more than 40 brands in the fashion, lifestyle, entertainment and media worlds including Brooks Brothers, Eddie Bauer, Forever 21, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Sports Illustrated, Juicy Couture and Nine West. Its brands generate $24.5 billion in annual retail sales globally and operate more than 10,000 freestanding stores and in-store shops around the world.

OSL was created in 2012 to provide sales solutions in retail, merchandising and customer acquisition and works with more than 2,000 stores across North America.

Ted Baker’s Cuthbertson Brings Less Formal, More Cozy Aesthetic to Brand

Ted Baker’s Cuthbertson Brings Less Formal, More Cozy Aesthetic to Brand

Ted Baker is lightening up for fall, thanks to the vision of its new global creative director.
Anthony Cuthbertson, whose résumé includes Topshop, Roberto Cavalli, Sass & Bide, Rene Lezard and Burlington/Ralph Lauren, among others, joined the U.K.-based brand last May. For his first full collection, Cuthbertson offered up a more-relaxed and cozy assortment intended to address those working from home and trying to navigate a seemingly endless pandemic.
“We’re rewriting the codes to make them more relevant to today,” Cuthbertson said in an interview from his London studio. “We’re bringing more casualization to everything we do.”
Ted Baker has built its reputation on offering more-tailored pieces in an array of bright prints. But while there’s still some of that in the collection, the new direction is broader and much less formal, and offers an expanded assortment of outerwear, knitwear and accessories.

“The brand has some great history,” he said, adding that is a quintessential British label that has historically brought “a bit of humor” to its offering. But the Britain of today has changed and Cuthbertson has created a collection intended to blend “modern references and nostalgia.”
“For me, there’s a juxtaposition of art, e-commerce and fashion. Ted was always at the forefront of that,” he said. “And we want to bring that back.”

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He said the pandemic definitely informed the design process for him this season. “Everything is softer, looser, more relaxed and at ease,” he said. And there’s a lot more layering, which speaks to the “protective” mood most people are feeling.
For women, that translates into a color palette centered more around nudes and blushes with accents of poppy, candy and mulberry. Cuthbertson offers up new proportions such as a floor-length, double-face, wool-blend duster coat and wide-leg, floor-length pleated trousers. The assortment also offers a variety of textures including 14-wale corduroy pants, fleece-back hoodies and joggers that can double as loungewear. Cartoon-like characters on sweatshirts and T-shirts provide a shot of humor.
There is a newly developed casual day-to-night wardrobe of mesh jersey tops in blurred prints, canvas trenches and pleather trousers along with raw-edged denim and oversize jacquard knitwear. Holiday offers faux fur, leather and satin material and jumpsuits with split-hem legs and double-breasted tuxedo jackets paired with jersey cycling shorts. Accessories offer a bohemian mood, while footwear styles are heavier than in past seasons.
For the men’s range, the collection is more relaxed and youthful with soft tailoring, technical outerwear and cozy leisurewear. There are distorted argyle knits and photographic jerseys inspired by the British music scene of the 1960s. The color palette for the early part of the season centers around grays with hits of orange and a new script branding while as holiday approaches, the colors get warmer — tobacco, rust and olive — in Sherpa fleece, textured wools, nylons and cottons.The key piece in shirts is the “shacket,” Cuthbertson said, which he offers in patterns that includes florals and abstract camos.

The expanded accessories range includes backpacks in ripstock with quick-release clips and elastic drawstring details, and padded nylon bags. Footwear ranges from derby boots with cleated soles to moccasins.
Last fall, Cuthbertson created a special Made in Britain collection of premium, luxury product positioned at the upper end of the Ted Baker range. The collection was created in London and Leicester, England and is intended to be the “icing on the cake” of the Ted Baker collection, he said.
But for now, the focus is on the more-extensive mainline of men’s and women’s wear.
Jennifer Roebuck, chief customer officer, said: “Since joining the brand as global creative director, Anthony has set an unexpected and exciting design direction for both men’s wear and women’s wear. We see his vision come to life in our fall 2021 mainline collections, with a more relevant and casual offering that we hope will amplify the brand to new audiences.”
The shift in fashion direction comes amid a major restructuring at the company. Last summer, the company said it was preparing to slash 500 jobs, or about 25 percent of the workforce, including roles at its head office. COVID-19 only exacerbated a difficult situation at the company, which has issued a series of profit warnings over the past year and has been battling with accounting and management troubles.
Earlier this year, Rachel Osborne, Ted Baker’s chief financial officer, was promoted to the role of chief executive officer. She was the third person in 12 months to hold the top management role at the embattled company, which was caught up in major controversy last year when its founder, Ray Kelvin, was forced to resign after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced.

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