// Ted Baker reveals a hit of up to £5m from Brexit
// Retail sales nearly halved in the Christmas quarter, plunging 47% in the 13 weeks to January 30
// It also closed a “selective” number of stores after failing to reach an agreement with landlords, but did not say how many
Ted Baker has revealed a hit of up to £5 million from Brexit as tumbling festive sales also laid bare the toll taken by the pandemic.
The fashion retailer said the expected Brexit bill comes as it faces extra duty and shipping costs following the end of year agreement, which will only be “partially offset” by new customs warehouse capability.
Ted Baker reported retail sales nearly halving in its crucial Christmas quarter, plunging 47 per cent in the 13 weeks to January 30 as the Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions battered trade.
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It was also knocked by significantly lower numbers of shoppers on the high street when stores were open, as well as plunging demand for its Christmas staples – coats and party wear.
Ted Baker added that it permanently closed a “selective” number of stores after failing to reach an agreement with landlords, but did not specify how many.
It now expects the remainder of its UK store estate will remain closed until the end of May.
Shares in Ted Baker dropped more than five per cent after the update.
“While we have made encouraging strategic progress, trading over the fourth quarter was difficult and heavily impacted by the Covid pandemic, leading to the closure of many of our stores during the period and a lack of demand for outerwear and occasionwear over the festive season in particular,” Ted Baker chief executive Rachel Osborne said.
“Looking forward, we are taking a cautious planning approach and now assume that UK stores will remain closed until the end of May, followed by a gradual recovery over the rest of the first half.”
The retailer is pressing ahead with the launch of a new online sales platform at the end of the first quarter as it looks to ramp up its internet trade in the face of a high street bloodbath.
It saw online sales drop one per cent despite the shift online across the retail industry, though its ecommerce trade now accounts for 63 per cent of total sales, up from a third a year ago.
Directly-operated online sales rose two per cent in the period after Ted Baker improved its payment method options and upped investment in digital media.
It added that despite the dip in online sales, web traffic rose 17 per cent and it saw an eight per cent rise in new customers.
with PA Wires