Clothing retailer Ted Baker reported that Q4 group revenues fell by 47% during the 13-week period ending 30 January 2021.
It comes as the retailer said it has seen a “material negative impact” from the Covid pandemic including the closure of its entire UK store portfolio for the majority of the trading period as well as large parts of its international store portfolio.
It added that when stores were open, footfall shifted towards out-of-town and neighbourhood retail locations where it has “minimal physical presence”. In addition, Ted Baker said sales had been “adversely affected by a decline in outerwear and occasionwear demand during the Christmas period”.
However it said that directly operated e-commerce sales increased 2%, despite the lack of demand for outerwear and occasionwear, reflecting enhanced payment methods, improved trading mechanics and increased investment in digital media.
The group also revealed it anticipates up to £5m of incremental costs associated with Brexit, reflecting extra duty and shipping costs partially offset by a new customs warehouse capability
CEO Rachel Osborne said: “We continue to make strong progress on our transformation programme, delivering against all of our year-one operational targets. Over the period, we have moved forward on the three key pillars of our plan in refreshing and re-energising the product and brand, prioritising digital and capital light growth with the announcement today of a further licensing partner and through our cost savings programme.
“While we have made encouraging strategic progress, trading over the fourth quarter was difficult and heavily impacted by the Covid pandemic, leading to the closure of many of our stores during the period and a lack of demand for outerwear and occasionwear over the festive season in particular.”
She added: “Looking forward, we are taking a cautious planning approach and now assume that UK stores will remain closed until the end of May followed by a gradual recovery over the rest of the first half.
“Despite these challenges, our robust balance sheet and strong cash position leave us well placed for the future and we remain confident that Ted will emerge from Covid a stronger and more resilient business.”