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Ted Baker signs new Japanese retail license deal

Lauretta Roberts
28 August 2019

Ted Baker has appointed Sojitz Infinity as its exclusive retail licence for the Japanese market, effective 1 October 2019.

The partnership has been signed for an initial five-year period and Sojitz Infinity will drive the long-term expansion of the Ted Baker brand in the region, combining its local expertise, especially within the department store sector, with the buying, merchandising and brand-building expertise of Ted Baker.

Ted Baker has been developing its brand in Japan and to date has opened five stores to build brand awareness and understanding. Infinity intends to build on the existing store portfolio, expand the concession network and invest in its online presence.

As part of the appointment Ted Baker will transfer certain existing assets relating to its Japanese business (which include existing non-current stock, fixed assets and leases) to Infinity at nil value. As a consequence, it anticipates exceptional transaction related costs of approximately £4m and it has said the new operating model will have a "marginally positive impact on pre-tax profit from the current financial year and greater benefit in the further years of the licence".

Commenting on the deal Ted Baker CEO Lindsay Page said: "We are very excited about the next stage of growth for the Ted Baker brand in Japan. Over recent years, we have invested in introducing Ted Baker to Japanese customers and we are confident that our new Japanese Retail Licence Partner will build on this platform and deliver meaningful long-term growth.

"In Sojitz Infinity Inc., we have an extremely capable partner that brings local market expertise to our brand alongside our already well-established design, buying and merchandising skillset. This combination will drive an acceleration in performance of the business. We firmly believe that Japan has the long-term potential to be an important market for the Ted Baker brand.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues who have helped establish the brand in Japan. Following our recently announced Joint Venture in China, including the Hong Kong S.A.R. and Macau S.A.R. territories, this completes the reorganisation of our Asian operations and is another step forward in our strategy to further expand Ted Baker as a truly global lifestyle brand."

Kohei Ono, Chief Executive Officer of Sojitz Infinity Inc., added: "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to help build and develop Ted Baker in the large and unique Japanese market. Ted Baker is a brand that we have followed since its arrival in Japan for a long time and believe it has the potential to appeal to more consumers in this market. Our knowledge and experience in building fashion brands through stores, concessions and online should add value to Ted Baker and we look forward to working together."

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