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Ted Baker to axe 160 jobs after ‘very challenging year’

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

Ted Baker has announced plans to cut 160 jobs as part of a turnaround plan following a tough 2019.

The troubled fashion brand said it expects to axe 102 staff already in the company and remove a further 58 roles which are currently vacant.

The proposed cuts, which will primarily affect its head office, come after a wide-ranging strategic review and are aimed at saving £5 million in the current financial year.

It comes a month after bosses said Ted Baker’s stock inventory had been overstated by £58 million – almost three times worse than the company had previously estimated.

It followed a torrid 2019 for the luxury fashion brand, which saw shares dive after a profit warning and the resignation of founder Ray Kelvin after allegations of misconduct, including “forced hugging”.

The company has now outlined a new transformation strategy following a review of its costs by advisory firm AlixPartners.

Ted Baker said the announced reduction in its office headcount is “the first of a range of expected initiatives to improve the efficiency and cost structure of the group”.

Acting chief executive Rachel Osborne said: “2019 was a very challenging year for Ted Baker, but I am confident about the future growth prospects for the group.

“The strategic priorities we are announcing today will re-energise the Ted Baker brand and improve our customer proposition, ensuring the long-term success of the business.

“We recognise that, to support these priorities, we need to become more efficient, simplify our structure and reduce our cost base to more sustainable levels for the future.

“The changes we are announcing today are difficult because colleagues across the business have been working hard in what has been a challenging period for Ted Baker.”

Shares in the company fell 1.5% to 309.6p on Wednesday morning.