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Fashion giant Ted Baker facing mass closures, possible CVA

Glasgow-founded global fashion brand Ted Baker is considering a ‘wave of store closures,’ according to a report in The Telegraph.

The brand was rescued by Authentic Brands Group (ABG) in a £211m, October 2022 deal amidst mounting losses at its circa 500 stores and concessions worldwide. ABG owns nearly 40 brands, ranging from fashion and sportswear staples like Reebok and Billabong to celebrity personal brands including David Beckham and Marilyn Monroe.

In January, Ted Baker closed its store in Princes Square, Glasgow. The Telegraph reports that the owner is now preparing to launch a major restructuring as it seeks to reduce the rent bill for the brand’s UK stores. Among the options on the table, claims the report, is a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

Many wouldn’t realise Ted Baker is a Glasgow invention, not least because the brand is generally written, including on its own labels and marketing, as ‘Ted Baker London.’ In fact, the fashion giant was founded, and opened its first shop, in Glasgow by Ray Kelvin, aka his own alter ego Ted Baker, in 1988. The second and third stores followed in the same year in Manchester and Nottingham, and London didn’t enter the picture until 1990.

The brand’s own online history is evasive about exactly when the ‘London’ epithet came into being, so we can only assume it’s at some point between 1988 and 2017, when the company moved into a flashy £58.25m London HQ having clocked up around 2,300% growth in the previous 20 years.

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