Ted Baker is targeting India as it continues to expand into new markets.
Over the past 12 months Ted Baker has made its debut in Australia, where it has two stores, and opened another two in the US, bringing its US total to nine, and remains on the overseas expansion trail. Another four US shops will open this year.
Ted Baker is expected to open stores in India by 2012 although plans are not yet finalised.
“We can’t do everything at once,” said Ted Baker founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin. “But [we’ll try to open in India] in the next couple of years and we will probably start with a partner.”
Retail Knowledge Bank senior partner Robert Clark said a move into India made sense for Ted Baker. “India is an obvious place to go for many an aspiring global retailer. Ted Baker would go down well. It has the British heritage and a quirky approach to retail that the Indians might identify with,” he said.
The retailer reported that trading conditions in the US in the 52 weeks to January 30 “continued to be difficult” and sales were down 16.3% to $15.9m (£10.5m).
However, Kelvin said: “The economy was struggling and that became our opportunity to get the right locations and that is why we are pushing ahead.”
Last week Ted Baker posted full-year profits up 3.6% to £20.3m while total sales rose 7.2% to £163.6m.
No details were given on current trading but Kelvin said: “We have been encouraged by trading since the start of the year and the positive reaction from our customers to our spring/summer collections. While we believe that 2010 will be a difficult trading year, we remain well placed to deal with the challenges.”
Kelvin acknowledged the impending general election created uncertainty about prospects. He said: “It might be a bit more difficult.”
Over the period retail sales in the UK and European division were up 17.3% to £126.4m. While the UK was ahead of expectations, Ted Baker said European stores had faced “challenging” conditions.