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Ted Baker NA says bankruptcy due in part to Authentic failures

The retailer said in court documents that suppliers were not paid, leading to shipment delays, order cancellations and merchandise shortages.

Ted Baker NA says bankruptcy due in part to Authentic failures

A Ted Baker store in New York City. Ted Baker operators in Canada and the U.S. have filed for bankruptcy. Astrid Stawiarz via Getty Images

Dive Brief:

  • Ted Baker operators in the U.S. and Canada filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy last week, according to court documents.
  • In the insolvency filings, Antoine Adams, director and corporate secretary of Ted Baker in both countries, said “financial and operational performance has struggled” at Ted Baker Canada and Ted Baker Limited over the past year. Adams blamed the problems on parent company Authentic Brands Group, which acquired Ted Baker in 2022.
  • Adams said in filings that Authentic’s “operating partners in Europe and elsewhere” had failed to pay Ted Baker suppliers, and as a result, shipments to Ted Baker’s North America companies were held or shorted, which created delays and led to order cancellations and merchandise shortages.

Dive Insight:

The bankruptcy comes just over a month after Ted Baker’s European business entered administration, meaning a court was asked to take control of the company in an attempt to save it from liquidation. 

That announcement came following a decision from Authentic subsidiary No Ordinary Designer Label, a private U.K. corporation that trades under the Ted Baker brand, to end its partnership with AARC. Netherlands-based AARC was previously tasked with operating Ted Baker’s retail stores, concession and e-commerce in Europe and the U.K.

In the recent proceedings, filed in the Southern District of New York bankruptcy court, Adams said that NODL entered into a license agreement with Ted Baker Canada and Ted Baker Limited, collectively referred to as Ted Baker NA, granting Ted Baker NA exclusive license to use brand trademarks and sell branded merchandise in Canada and the U.S.

However, in addition to not paying suppliers, Adams said in court filings that Ted Baker NA suppliers also sped up “payment terms in the lead up to and as a result of NODL’s administration process in the UK.” 

Furthermore, Adams said a transition from Ted Baker NA’s existing technology to a new technology “during the busiest selling season…exacerbated the supply delays,” referring to the holiday 2023. Adams added that Authentic wanted to “change the Ted Baker website URL from tedbaker.com to tedbaker.us, which significantly impeded sales.” 

He additionally stated that there had been “generally poor sales performance at Ted Baker NA.” Per the filings, Ted Baker NA saw a net loss of more than $11.3 million for the 11 months ended December 31, 2023, and generated negative cash flow of more than $5 million from January to April 2024.

Authentic didn’t immediately respond to Fashion Dive’s request for comment.

Ted Baker NA now owes more than $2 million to Authentic, more than $2.3 million to warehouse partners, and more than $14 million to various vendors.

Per the filings, Ted Baker NA operates 25 retail stores in Canada and 34 retail stores in the U.S. and has wholesale partnerships with department stores including Nordstrom, Macy’s and Hudson Bay. The company also has 360 full-time and 264 part-time employees throughout the U.S. and Canada, including employees who work under the firm’s Lucky and Brooks Brothers banners in Canada.

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