Already aware that Ted Baker chief executive Ray Kelvin was a quirky character, I still did not expect to be sitting in a changing room drinking high tea and eating cream cakes with him.

Already aware that Ted Baker chief executive Ray Kelvin was a quirky character, I still did not expect to be sitting in a changing room drinking high tea and eating cream cakes with him.

Speaking at the Bluewater store opening Kelvin told me the secret to the retailer’s success: “We are claustrophobic about the brand. We break the mould, taking the lead because we are very, very serious about what we do, as much as we joke about, you mustn’t be fooled.”

Indeed, Ted Baker has enjoyed a successful year this year as third quarter sales to November 12, published after the Bluewater opening, showed 7.8% growth in group sales and retail sales increased by 12.3%, managing to escape the impact that the warm winter weather has had on other fashion retailers unable to shift warm clothing.

Indeed, the relocated store reflects Kelvin’s claims, as we enter a fictional Kent town called Tedbury, the fun surroundings belie a serious design programme, which ensures every customer has a unique experience in-store. Filled with detail, the store is a fantastic cure to the many standard straight-laced stores surrounding it. Although very fashionable, the store is not intimidating but fascinating as part of it even hangs from the ceiling. Kelvin explains that many of the ornaments and all the glass jars displayed in the till are collected by him and “stored in my shed at the bottom of my garden”.

Kelvin charms the shoppers as he walks around the store, chatting to and offering them hugs even before introducing himself as Ted Baker. “I like people really,” he says. “It’s all about people, the product and passion.”

I ask how Ted Baker will keep momentum going, “By doing the job better, by working harder today than we did yesterday. There is tremendous detail in all that we do. It is all about the product.”

But enhances to the customer experience are an obvious emphasis which brand communication director Craig Smith believes is taking  the retailer “to the next level”, as Ted Baker looks to introduce in-store wifi, recently launched click and collect and aims to create more social media marketing campaigns, while the “big driver” is touch screen devices which are to be installed in every store.

Apparently Kelvin originally aimed to operate a chain of stores in which he knew the names of all his employees. But now with store openings in Tokyo and Beijing next year to add to around 184 concessions and standalone stores stretching across the UK, Europe and the US, if Ted Baker’s performance continues as it has, this ambition is one he won’t be able to fulfil.