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Ted Baker announces actions for improving efficiencies

Feb '20
Pic: Ted Baker
Pic: Ted Baker
On December 10, 2019, the board of Ted Baker plc, the global lifestyle brand, announced several actions focused on addressing underperformance and improving efficiencies across the wider group. Since that announcement, the group’s management team has conducted a wide-ranging review of Ted Baker’s operational efficiency, costs and business model.

In conducting this operational review of the business, the management team has identified a number of key strategic priorities. These include: 1)customer focus – increasing sales through broadening and deepening Ted Baker's customer relationships; 2)brand revitalisation – re-energising the Ted Baker brand and creativity of the group; 3)product line extension – improving product relevance and broader product lines; 4)e-commerce growth – enhancing Ted Baker's ecommerce proposition; 5)channel optimisation – territorial expansion driven by channel economics; and 6)cost efficiency – end-to-end operating margin improvement and the efficient use of capital.

These strategic priorities will form the basis of a broad transformation programme at Ted Baker, the first phase of which is focussed on profitability, cost and the effective use of capital.

Further details of the Group's strategic priorities and transformation programme will be detailed in full at Ted Baker's Full Year Results which are expected to be announced in May.

Through focusing on these priorities and the transformation programme, management and the board are confident they can create a more commercial, agile, fast-paced, effective and simple organisation.

The management team's operational review has run alongside the cost review that the performance improvement division of Alix Partners has been working on. That cost review has now concluded and identified a number of ways in which the group can move to a more sustainable cost base that reflects the scale of the business today while allowing for continued investment in the brand and customer offer.

A key area of focus for management following the cost review is to reduce the office cost base, in particular by simplifying and de-layering the group's organisational structure. Earlier this month, the executive committee was restructured, with the number of members reduced from 13 to 9. The group has announced proposals to reorganise key head office and business functions to align with the new simplified management structure.

Combined, this is expected to result in a reduction of 102 roles and the removal of a further 58 posts which are currently vacant.

The expected financial impact from this initiative will be to reduce costs by £5 million in the current financial year, and by £7 million on an annualised basis. These savings will incur a cash restructuring charge of £2.7 million, which will be taken in the current year.

The reduction in the office headcount is the first of a range of expected initiatives to improve the efficiency and cost structure of the group.

“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, said acting chief executive officer of Ted Baker, Rachel Osborne.

“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. I would like to thank all of them for their commitment and the passion they have shown for the business.

The board and I believe that we will only realise Ted's long-term potential by transforming the way the business operates and the actions we are announcing today are important steps in that transformation.”

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (PC)

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