Ted Baker to concentrate on brand-building plans

Quirky fashion retailer Ted Baker is to focus on careful brand management, rather than more UK store openings.

Chief executive Ray Kelvin said at last week's interim results that the focus will be on Ted Baker's wholesale business and expansion in the US.

The recently-opened large- format store in Manchester has been trading well, and more such shops may open, but only in key locations.

Kelvin said: 'The brand is doing very well, but we are not going to open more and more stores - big stores maybe, but it is not the plan. More and more of what we're doing is wholesale in the main.'

Pre-tax profit for the six months to August 28 beat expectations, coming in at£4.6 million compared with£3 million last year. Sales rose to£42 million from£32 million a year ago.

Next spring, Ted Baker plans to launch a trendy formalwear collection called Phantom. The retailer is also developing a new-style store at its Langley Court premises in London's Covent Garden. Kelvin would not give details, but said: 'We are working on it.'

Meanwhile, Ted Baker's success in the US has led to plans for a new store in San Francisco next spring.

The retailer has also signed a licensing deal in Australia, which is a new market for the company. The deal, struck with Flair Menswear, kicks in next year, with menswear ranges distributed through 28 David Jones department stores.