Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin spoke about online expansion, brand and brunch in the wake of the fashion retailer’s first-quarter results.
The fashion specialist’s retail sales rose 12.7% year-on-year in the 19 weeks to June 11, when group sales increased 11.3%.
Online sales increased 32.3% in the period and were a key driver of growth for Ted Baker, which launched its first language-specific website in Germany.
Kelvin said the retailer will “absolutely” roll out local langauge websites across other markets and that the German website “has gotten off to a terrific start”.
“Wherever we have stores, we will have our own-language website,” said Kelvin. Along with online, the retailer’s plans for international expansion will cover “a bit of everything – shops, wholesale, online and product licensing”.
At present Ted Baker operates 465 stores and concessions across several countries, but Kelvin was keen to stress that his business is not a traditional retailer.
“We don’t have a lot of high street shops, we are not a retailer in the way that Marks & Spencer and Next and all these other guys are.”
When asked whether that model was the reason that Ted Baker has avoided the difficulties that have plagued many fashion retailers this year, Kelvin said: “I can’t talk about other businesses but our strength lies in our product, knowing who we are and who our customer is.”
Telling a story
The retailer launched a gaming microsite to boost Valentine’s Day sales and at the moment has a series of recipes on its website for dishes including a four-cheese club sandwich.
“We use online to show our shoppers who we are as people. We’re not just there to sell clothes, we’re telling our story the whole time rather than just selling stock,” said Kelvin.
“We use online to show our shoppers who we are as people. We’re not just there to sell clothes, we’re telling our story the whole time rather than just selling stock”
All the recipes on the website are his own. “I’ve got my hands in all the sandwiches,” he joked.
Kelvin said that he would continue to prioritise long-term thinking over short-term gains and retain the company’s distinct culture.
He said: “I want to make sure that the culture is perfected and that everyboy is working in a fantastic environment.
“If we get that balance right people work harder, try harder and care more, and our results will follow on from that.
“We focus on the important things and drive the business from the back of that. Hopefully we’ll continue to grow if we focus on that.”