Ted Baker is going where the gold is, and is set to open its first outlet in Beijing, China, later this year. According to the Financial Times, the fashion group is to open a 3,000 sq ft store in Beijing in the second half of 2011, following the lead of compatriots Burberry and Mulberry, both of which have benefited from growing disposable income in China.
“We’re managing it all ourselves, which is very pioneering,” Ray Kelvin, founder and chief executive, told the FT. “Some people say brave, we think not. We’re not doing it with a partner.”
“In Asia it’s all about luxury. We can develop and sell a luxury product and make it more affordable, and that’s quite a new concept to that part of the world.”
The move came as Ted Baker, which bridges the high street and luxury markets, reported a jump in full-year pre-tax profit of almost a quarter and increased its dividend by more than 20 per cent.
While Mr Kelvin acknowledged that “the economic outlook for 2011 is uncertain”, he noted that the soaring cotton price and other inflationary pressures were less of a concern to Ted Baker fashion group than other high street fashion retailers.
“We’re not a true retailer, we’re a brand. We have wholesale, licensing and retail. All our products are contracted a year in advance. We’re not a very quick response business. So we can factor in any price differences.”
The group is best known for its suits and shirts but also offers swimwear, accessories, footwear and lingerie.
For the year to January 29, Ted Baker, which opened its first store in Glasgow in 1988, reported sales up 14.7 per cent to £187.7m ($302m), and an increase in pre-tax profit from £19.5m to £24.2m.
Mr Kelvin, said the Ted Baker fashion group planned to increase its overseas reach this year, with a second store in Paris, as well as 10 outlets or concessions in Spain.