Fashion brand Ted Baker brightened up the retail sector yesterday as it emerged that the bulk of the high street had suffered a dismal start to the festive countdown.
The designer label said it was particularly pleased with its performance in the UK, where it has a string of wholly owned shops, outlet stores and concessions.
It also credited the 22 per cent sales surge in the 13 weeks to 10 November to openings in department stores in mainland Europe and further afield.
The solid trading at Ted Baker, which has some 180 shops in the UK including concessions, came in sharp contrast to the general gloom on the high street after the Office for National Statistics said sales volumes dropped 0.8 per cent last month as consumers tightened their belts.
The outcome was far worse than the 0.2 per cent decline forecast by analysts and followed a 0.6 per cent boost in September which had lifted hopes of a spending revival in the run-up to Christmas.
Yesterday’s figures represent the sharpest fall in monthly sales volumes since April and mirror the findings of a British Retail Consortium survey last week.
Its director general Stephen Robertson said: “This is a really dispiriting result so close to Christmas. September’s slight upturn in sales offered retailers mild cause for cheer, but it was frustratingly short-lived.”
Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Capital Economics, added: “Looking ahead, the renewed pick-up in inflation and signs that the resilience of employment is starting to fade do not provide a positive backdrop for spending in the run-up to Christmas.”
Ted Baker, founded by its London-born chief executive Ray Kelvin as a men’s shirt outlet in Glasgow in 1987, added that its e-commerce business had continued to perform well.