Ted Baker bosses resign from crisis-hit fashion brand

Ted Baker is bracing for a nosedive in pre-tax profit on a year earlier. (Reuters)
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Updated 10 December 2019

Ted Baker bosses resign from crisis-hit fashion brand

  • The company warned annual pre-tax profit would stand at between £5-10 million ($6.6-13.2 million), massively down on a year earlier

LONDON: British fashion brand Ted Baker on Tuesday said both its top bosses had quit, as it warned on profits and suspended its dividend on weak consumer spending amid economic uncertainties.

The group has replaced chief executive Lindsay Page with finance director Rachel Osborne on an interim basis less than a year after Page taking charge.

Executive chairman David Bernstein has also departed, Ted Baker said in a statement.

The company warned annual pre-tax profit would stand at between £5-10 million ($6.6-13.2 million), massively down on a year earlier.

“We have continued to experience challenging trading conditions in the UK as a result of weak consumer spending, macro-economic uncertainty and a backdrop of elevated promotional activity,” the company said.

The group’s annual forecast, blamed also on poor November trade particularly over the “Black Friday” discounting period, compared with profit before tax of £50.9 million a year earlier.

In reaction, Ted Baker shares tanked by about one third on the London stock market, before recouping some losses to 336 pence, down 16 percent from Monday’s closing level.

“This is a train wreck of an update, and it feels like the company is coming apart at the seams,” said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

“Trading has been tough for retailers in recent years as the rise of online shopping has hurt the high street.

“To make matters worse, the UK consumer environment has become more fragile on account of Brexit.”

Ted Baker last week revealed that it had overstated the value of its inventory by as much as £25 million.

Page had only been in charge since March after his predecessor, Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin, resigned following allegations of harassment.


Google Cloud prepares for Black Friday ‘peak on top of peak’

Updated 04 August 2020

Google Cloud prepares for Black Friday ‘peak on top of peak’

  • Cloud technology, used to host websites and store data, is a key part of many retailers’ e-commerce operations

OAKLAND, California: Alphabet’s Google Cloud unit is poised for a surge in fourth-quarter sales from US retailers, as they brace for record online shopping during the holidays because of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Cloud technology, used to host websites and store data, is a key part of many retailers’ e-commerce operations. As fees are often pegged to site traffic, a jump in activity will drive up revenue for the unit.
Carrie Tharp, vice president of retail and consumer at Google Cloud, said that her team had this year tossed out its linear growth model to predict how many servers it will need to process web orders for retailers around Black Friday.
“We’re planning for peak on top of peak,” she said on Monday. That could be a boon for Google Cloud, which has generated about 30 percent of its revenue during the fourth quarter the last two years.
Stores such as Kohls Corp. and Wayfair Inc. lean on Google months in advance to ensure it has enough servers to withstand increased shopping during holiday discount days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November and December.
This year, Black Friday-style demand has flooded shops since March, when the United States began lockdowns, Tharp said.
Holiday shopping is expected to boost demand further, as retailers including Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. have said they will reduce in-store hours because of coronavirus concerns.
Tharp said the pandemic has already benefitted Google Cloud, with some retailers adopting its predictive algorithms years ahead of plan to help them work out the most efficient way of fulfilling orders.
Electronics retailer Best Buy Co., for instance, announced on Tuesday a multi-year deal to centralize customer and product data with Google Cloud to improve its loyalty program and online ad campaigns.
The companies declined to elaborate on the deal, but Tharp said she hopes it leads to Google eventually powering Best Buy’s web ordering system.