Home » Iconic British brand Ted Baker beloved by celebrities from Holly Willoughby to Amal Clooney ‘calls in administrators’ – putting 86 stores and hundreds of jobs at risk

Iconic British brand Ted Baker beloved by celebrities from Holly Willoughby to Amal Clooney ‘calls in administrators’ – putting 86 stores and hundreds of jobs at risk

Iconic British fashion brand Ted Baker beloved by celebrities has called in the administrators, putting 86 stores and hundreds of jobs at risk.

The firm No Ordinary Designer Label, which is owned by the Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and trades as Ted Baker filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators Teneo Financial Advisory today.

Going into administration is likely to result in closures of stores and could lead to as many as 1,000 job losses.

NODL has around 975 employees and runs more than 80 shops and concessions in the UK. In its statement Authentic did not reveal any details of cuts to jobs or shop numbers.

The brand has picked up impressive celebrity endorsements including Holly Willoughby, Amal Clooney, Amanda Holden, Emma Stone and Myleene Klass.

Amal Clooney pictured wearing a light blue Ted Baker dress in 2017

Fashionista: Amanda Holden looked effortlessly stylish in an all white Ted Baker ensemble as she departed Heart FM in February last year

Fashionista: Amanda Holden looked effortlessly stylish in an all white Ted Baker ensemble as she departed Heart FM in February last year

Flower power:  Holly Willoughby celebrated her 41st birthday in style wearing a £175 Ted Baker floral mini dress on This Morning in February 2022

 Flower power:  Holly Willoughby celebrated her 41st birthday in style wearing a £175 Ted Baker floral mini dress on This Morning in February 2022

Lady Mary Parkinson, Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin and Sir Michael Parkinson attend the launch of new book 'George Best: A Memoir' by Sir Michael Parkinson at Fortnum & Mason on November 12, 2018 in London

Lady Mary Parkinson, Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin and Sir Michael Parkinson attend the launch of new book ‘George Best: A Memoir’ by Sir Michael Parkinson at Fortnum & Mason on November 12, 2018 in London

Fashion retailer Ted Baker has called in the administrators, putting 86 stores and hundreds of jobs at risk

Holly Willoughby celebrated her 41st birthday in style wearing a £175 Ted Baker floral mini dress on This Morning in February 2022.

Amal Clooney was pictured sporting a blue Ted Baker Dress in 2017, showing her affinity for the brand at the time.

TV personality Amanda Holden is a fan of the brand, being spotted looking effortlessly stylish in an all white ensemble as she departed Heart FM last February.

The TV personality looked incredible in the figure-hugging Ted Baker number which featured a small slit up the side.

The broadcaster added inches to her frame in a pair of coordinated pointed toe heels and toted her belongings around in a chunky shoulder bag.

The Britain’s Got Talent judge wore a cream long jacket and accessorised with a gold necklace.

This news comes after Ted Baker was delisted from the London stock market after it was bought by ABG for around £210million about a year and a half ago.

ABG said that No Ordinary Designer Label (NODL) had built up a significant level of arrears’.

It comes weeks after the end of its partnership with Dutch firm AARC, which ran Ted Baker’s shops and online business in Europe.

The arrears were built up as the business faced tough trading last year, and during the partnership with AARC.

Founder and then-CEO of Ted Baker, Ray Kelvin attends Ted Baker Wooster VIP Event on September 22, 2016 in New York City

Founder and then-CEO of Ted Baker, Ray Kelvin attends Ted Baker Wooster VIP Event on September 22, 2016 in New York City

The firm No Ordinary Designer Label, which is owned by the Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and trades as Ted Baker filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators Teneo Financial Advisory today

The firm No Ordinary Designer Label, which is owned by the Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and trades as Ted Baker filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators Teneo Financial Advisory today

Ted Baker walked away from the AARC deal in January after it claimed its partner had failed to meet its promise to inject cash into the business.

All Ted Baker stores and concessions in the UK at risk of closure

  • Ashford
  • Belfast
  • Bicester
  • Birmingham Bullring
  • Braintree
  • Bridgend
  • Bromley
  • Cambridge
  • Cardiff
  • Exeter
  • Fenwick Canterbury
  • Floral Street
  • Gatwick North Terminal
  • Glasgow Buchanan Street
  • Heathrow Terminal 3
  • Heathrow Terminal 5
  • John Lewis – Canary Wharf
  • John Lewis – Cheadle
  • John Lewis – Edinburgh
  • John Lewis – Glasgow
  • John Lewis – Leeds
  • John Lewis – Liverpool
  • John Lewis – Liverpool
  • John Lewis – Newcastle
  • John Lewis – Nottingham
  • John Lewis – Reading
  • John Lewis – Solihull
  • John Lewis – Stratford
  • John Lewis – Welwyn
  • Kendalls Manchester
  • Liverpool One
  • London Bridge
  • Manchester Shambles
  • Milton Keynes
  • O2 Icon Outlet
  • Portsmouth
  • Selfridges Birmingham
  • Selfridges Trafford Park
  • St Pancras – London
  • Swindon
  • Teds Grooming Room – Covent Garden
  • Teds Grooming Room – Fitzrovia
  • Teds Grooming Room – Mortimer St
  • York

  • Bath
  • Bentalls Kingston
  • Binns Darlington
  • Bluewater
  • Brent Cross
  • Bristol
  • Brompton
  • Cannock Outlet
  • Cheshire Oaks
  • Fenwick – Bracknell
  • Fenwick Newcastle
  • Frasers Glasgow
  • Gatwick South Terminal
  • Heathrow Terminal 2
  • Heathrow Terminal 4
  • John Lewis – Brent Cross
  • John Lewis – Cardiff
  • John Lewis – Chelmsford
  • John Lewis – Exeter
  • John Lewis – Kingston
  • John Lewis – Leicester
  • John Lewis – Milton Keynes
  • John Lewis – Milton Keynes
  • John Lewis – Norwich
  • John Lewis – Oxford St
  • John Lewis – Sloane Square
  • John Lewis – Southampton
  • John Lewis – Trafford
  • John Lewis – White City
  • Leeds
  • Livingstone
  • London Luton Airport
  • Manchester Trafford Centre
  • Nottingham
  • Oxford
  • Regent Street
  • Selfridges London
  • Sheffield
  • Stansted
  • Teds Grooming Room – Berwick Street
  • Teds Grooming Room – Duke Street
  • Teds Grooming Room – Holborn
  • Westfield Mainline

Authentic Brands said Ted Baker stores and the retailer’s website would continue to trade.

‘Despite our tireless efforts, the damage done during a period under AARC in which NODL built up a significant level of arrears was too much to overcome,’ said Authentic’s chief strategy and transition officer John McNamara.

‘We wish that there could have been a better outcome for the Ted Baker employees and stakeholders. It is hopefully some consolation for customers that NODL will continue to trade online and in stores.

‘We remain focused on securing a new partner to uphold and grow the Ted Baker brand in the UK and Europe where it began.’

Authentic, which also owns Reebok and Juicy Couture, agreed a £211 million deal to buy Ted Baker off the stock exchange in August 2022. 

The deal was less than had been considered by Authentic earlier in the year when other potential suitors were circling the fashion brand.

It came after years of turmoil at the group. In March 2019, Ted Baker business parted ways with its founder Ray Kelvin after allegations of harassment made by young female colleagues.

Mr Kelvin, who denied allegations of misconduct, was at the time accused of enforcing a ‘hugging’ culture at the company, massaging employees, kissing their ears and asking someone to sit on his lap.

At that point, he had been with the company since founding it 32 years earlier.

Mr Kelvin, started working in his uncle’s Enfield menswear shop aged 11 and founded the Ted Baker brand in 1988, when he opened a shop specialising in men’s shirts in Glasgow turning it into one of Britain’s top brands.

But in 2018 he took a leave of absence when the company was forced to launch an independent investigation into his alleged behaviour following a petition from staff.

In the document Mr Kelvin was also accused stroking people’s necks and making sexual innuendos and today he quit saying: ‘It is the right thing to step away’.

At the time, Mr Kelvin said: ‘Difficult though this decision is given that Ted Baker has been my life and soul for over 30 years, I’ve decided that the right thing to do is to step away from Ted and allow the business to focus on being the outstanding brand it is so it can face 2019 with fresh energy and renewed spirit.  

‘As a shareholder in the business I’ll support Lindsay in his leadership and be available to him and the team wherever I can offer helpful advice.

‘I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved in building Ted Baker to the global brand it is today. Thank you to every single colleague, customer, supplier, and investor for your commitment to the business. We couldn’t have done it without you and I’m so grateful.

‘The past few months have been deeply distressing and I’ll now be taking time privately with my family to consider what my next adventure will be. Bye for now, Ray.’

The firm then issued several profit warnings and accounting blunders and faced the Covid pandemic while suffering financially.

Atmosphere at the Ted Baker London SS'19 Launch Event at Elephante on March 20, 2019 in Santa Monica, California

Atmosphere at the Ted Baker London SS’19 Launch Event at Elephante on March 20, 2019 in Santa Monica, California

Michele and Dan Travers model Ted Baker shirts at Harrods department store in London

Michele and Dan Travers model Ted Baker shirts at Harrods department store in London

Ray Kelvin (left) with Guy Ritchie (right) at a screening of 'The Gentleman' VIP film screening after party in London in December 2019

Ray Kelvin (left) with Guy Ritchie (right) at a screening of ‘The Gentleman’ VIP film screening after party in London in December 2019

Ted Baker clothing and fashion items hung up for sale in a store in Barcelona, Spain

Ted Baker clothing and fashion items hung up for sale in a store in Barcelona, Spain

Hundreds of jobs were canned in 2020 as Ted Baker raised £100million to stabilise its books.

But the valuation of ABG has skyrocketed over the last few years after it was reported it sold a controlling stake the the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock in August 2019 for $870million.

Gary Hemming, commercial lending director at abcfinance.co.uk, said Ted Baker has ‘faced a torrid few years after their founder left the business in 2019 following allegations of inappropriate behaviour’.

He added: ‘This had led to a real domino effect for the brand as reputational damage coupled with instability in the company hierarchy saw Ted Baker head into the pandemic in a sorry state. While most retail brands reacted quickly and adapted to the new market, there was a feeling that Ted Baker, already reeling, failed to do so.

‘From there, a death spiral has ensued as the brand has slipped to irrelevance, being replaced by newer, fresher brands that have managed to capture the interest of shoppers.

‘Sadly, even well-known national brands aren’t immune to these sorts of failings, around business financial management, poor sales and brand damage have proven too much to deal with.’

The history of Ted Baker – a fictional fashion mogul invented by Ray Kelvin

Having worked in his family clothing business in North London since he was 11, Ray Kelvin set up Ted Baker selling men’s shirts in Glasgow.

It took off in the ‘acid house’ era of the 1990s, when its brightly coloured shirts became popular with club-goers.

Ted Baker rose to prominence due to its secret of quality at an affordable price.

Kelvin was brought up in Cockfosters, North London, which his late mother Trudie told him to pronounce ‘Co’fosters’ to sound posher. 

He lives in Hampstead with his second wife Clare whom he married 12 years ago. They have a daughter, Ava.

He has two sons – Ben and Josh – with first wife Georgia Slowe, who appeared in soap opera Emmerdale as lady of the manor Perdita Hyde-Sinclair.

‘Ted Baker’ is not a real person – and one theory suggests that Kelvin did not name the brand after himself in case it went bust.

Ray Kelvin attends a special screening of The Gentlemen at The Curzon Mayfair in December 2019

Ray Kelvin attends a special screening of The Gentlemen at The Curzon Mayfair in December 2019

Ray Kelvin resigned in March 2019 following allegations of harassment including unwanted cuddles and asking young female workers to sit on his knee and let him massage their ears.

And in December that year, bosses of the firm quit after profits plunged to less than £10million after its ‘worst ever year of trading’.

The group said at the time that chief executive Lindsay Page – who took over from founder Ray Kelvin after he quit – had been replaced by an interim director.

The resignations were announced as Ted scrapped its shareholder dividend payout and said it is now expecting annual pre-tax profits of between £5 million and £10 million after worse-than-expected trading in November and over Black Friday. This compared with pre-tax profits of £50.9 million the previous year.

Changing face of UK’s high streets: How nearly 5,000 stores have shut in past year after retailers including Wilko, Paperchase and M&Co shut their doors – while Greggs, Domino’s and Costa thrive… as Ted Baker looks set to join them

With the news of Ted Baker going into administration, it could be set to join the nearly 5,000 stores shut across Britain last year after retailers including Wilko, Paperchase and Lloyds pharmacy shut their doors.

But there was a rise in new stores opened by thriving UK chains including Greggs, Domino’s and Costa last year, even if this has not been outweighed by the numbers of closures.

The new stores were mostly coffee drive-through chains, bubble tea shops, fast food restaurants and discount retailers outside of city centres, according to new data from accounts PwC.

There were more than 14,000 store closures across the UK last year, an average of 39 per day, and a net fall of nearly 5,000 shops, or 14 per day.

Chains which saw the biggest fall in the number of outlets due to financial problems or restructures were fashion chains M&Co and Joules, stationers Paperchase, general store Wilko and pub group Stonegate which runs Slug & lettuce.

The firms which saw the most new locations included discount retailer Aldi, coffee chains Costa and Starbucks – both of which built a lot of drive-throughs – and fast food chains Greggs and Domino’s.

The chains which shut their doors or opened the most new ones in the UK in 2023

The chains which shut their doors or opened the most new ones in the UK in 2023

M&Co (closed chain in Waterlooville High Street, Hampshire pictured) saw some of the most closures of outlets last year

M&Co (closed chain in Waterlooville High Street, Hampshire pictured) saw some of the most closures of outlets last year

Many Peacocks stores shut down in 2020 after the firm went into administration

Many Peacocks stores shut down in 2020 after the firm went into administration

Shutters come down for Wilko in Tooting after retail chain went into administration last year

Shutters come down for Wilko in Tooting after retail chain went into administration last year

The total number of store closures and openings in Great Britain between January and June by year in Great Britain

The total number of store closures and openings in Great Britain between January and June by year in Great Britain

The fall of in-person shopping highlights that consumers are now spending more of their money online for retail and services, said PwC, which has analysed data compiled by the Local Data Company. 

According to the data, 9,138 new stores were opened last year. This is the most since 2019 and this number is significantly comprised of new sites for hospitality businesses, PwC said.

This shows that there has been in a rebound for the hospitality sector following the devastation caused by the pandemic, where many businesses had to shut down.

But 11,530 stores were closed by chains in 2023, which was mainly due to ‘one-off’ restructures and failures of big retail firms, several which had faced financial difficulty for several years, according to PwC.

But retail parks which are outside town centres have seen a small rise in the number of shops and outlets. The other top growing categories are supermarkets, primarily due to the opening of discount supermarkets, and petrol stations 48, with the rollout of EV charging stations offsetting a decline in traditional petrol forecourts.

Any change in stores for chains with more than five outlets, including gyms, supermarkets, banks and takeaways is reflected in the report by PwC.

These figures show that that net closures in 2023 were higher than in 2022 – but were significantly lower than the years from 2017 to 2021.

Commercial director at the Local Data Company Lucy Stainton has welcomed the rise in store openings last year and said that the higher levels of ‘churn’ in 2023 were due to bigger firms ‘repositioning and consolidating their portfolios’. 

She also said that this was due firms taking advantage of changing consumer habits and higher levels of flexibility within the rental markets such as shorter lease lengths.

Once shut down and boarded up, some buildings in Banbury, Oxfordshire remain deserted for months - sometimes years

Once shut down and boarded up, some buildings in Banbury, Oxfordshire remain deserted for months – sometimes years

The net changes in the number of outlets by region in 2019-23 compared with 2015-2019

The net changes in the number of outlets by region in 2019-23 compared with 2015-2019

Senior retail adviser at PwC Kien Tan, has said there were a lots of closures in 2023 due to the ‘one-off’ failures. 

Every closure is counted, even if they later reopen after being bought out by new owners or after a business has been restructured.

This comes after locals despaired over the closure of shops on their thriving high streets across the UK. 

Earlier this year shoppers in Waterlooville, Hampshire expressed their ‘sadness’ today at how their beloved town centre would be dead if it wasn’t for the supermarket.

What used to be a ‘thriving’ high street has lost many big name stores including Waitrose, Wilko, Game and Peacocks in recent years.

They said that ‘barren’ high street has maintained its Wetherspoons, but many locals are growing tired of only having the choice of a charity shop or cafe – as they travel to nearby towns by car. 

The footfall has been ‘taken’ by a nearby retail park which tempts shoppers with the allure of Marks & Spencers.

Wendy and Eric Croad, 72 and 75 respectively, have lived in the area since 1955 but regret to see the area’s sharp decline.

Mr Croad said: ‘We used to have a picture house, now it’s derelict.

‘It’s mainly just charity shops, coffee shops and nail bars. Anything decent – not even decent – is at the retail park.’

Despite their misgivings, the couple make the most of it and visit the area almost daily.

And in January residents of the once ‘buzzing’ town of Banbury, Oxfordshire have lamented the state of their shopping centre as droves of desolate and boarded up stores take over.

Once shut down and boarded up, some buildings in the Oxfordshire market town remain deserted for months – sometimes years.

‘This town is slowly dying on its knees, said Robert Page, a 64-year-old film posters collector who was ‘born and bred’ in Banbury.

WATERLOOVILLE: Wendy and Eric Croad, 72 and 75 respectively, have lived in the area since 1955 but regret to see the area's sharp decline

WATERLOOVILLE: Wendy and Eric Croad, 72 and 75 respectively, have lived in the area since 1955 but regret to see the area’s sharp decline

BANBURY: Local resident Robert Page, 64, posing in front of a closed shop that used to be Debenhams

BANBURY: Local resident Robert Page, 64, posing in front of a closed shop that used to be Debenhams

Greggs saw one of the largest growths in the number of locations for its shops last year

Greggs saw one of the largest growths in the number of locations for its shops last year

Net percentage change of the number of chain outlets by the type of location from 2022-23

Net percentage change of the number of chain outlets by the type of location from 2022-23

It comes amid fears that the once beating heart of the community could be demolished and turned into a new housing complex – after it emerged there were plans to redevelop a retail and car park area nearby into 230 homes.

Lisa Hooker, Leader of Industry for Consumer Markets, points to the opportunities that the new landscape presents for those who want to maximise their profits in 2024.

She said: ‘A combination of the lagged impact of the pandemic together with inflation across the cost base has seen an acceleration in chain stores exiting the market in 2023 at 14 stores a day and some disappointing results across the independents sector.’

The rise in net closures ‘reflects more one-off failures and will improve this year’, she added.

Ms Hooker added: ‘It also shows the impact of the trend of wanting to shop and consume services seamlessly across different channels with longer-term growth in spending online mirroring the annual net closures in physical sites. There are some bright spots in terms of net openings of leisure operators and in retail parks, reflecting our desire for experiences over ‘stuff’, as well as for convenience.

‘Overall this does suggest a continued need for retailers, landlords and the local government to work together to understand why consumers prefer retail parks and how they can revitalise and reposition high streets to meet future consumer needs; and also for our industry to embrace the latest technology and use of data to win the battle for share of wallet and stomach.’