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Ted Baker appoints Sojitz Infinity as its Japanese retail partner

Lifestyle fashion brand Ted Baker has signed an exclusive retail licence deal for Japan with local apparel manufacturer and distributor Sojitz Infinity, initially for five years.

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.

The licence, expected to commence on October 1, marks Ted Baker’s 17th retail licence partner globally.

Over recent years, the firm has invested in introducing and developing the Ted Baker brand in the Japanese market, having opened five stores in the territory to date. Sojitz Infinity intends to build on Ted Baker’s existing store portfolio, expanding the concession network and investing in Ted Baker’s online presence.

The deal will kick off the brand’s next growth phase in Japan, said Ted Baker CEO Lindsay Page. “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, 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 the performance of the business. We firmly believe that Japan has the long-term potential to be an important market for the Ted Baker brand.”

As part of the appointment, Ted Baker will transfer certain existing assets relating to its Japanese business (which includes existing non-current stock, fixed assets and leases) to Infinity at nil value to support the successful transition of the operations. 

As a consequence, Ted Baker anticipates exceptional transaction-related costs of approximately £4 million (US$4.88 million); the costs include onerous lease expenses, restructuring charges and deal related costs. The non-cash charges of about £1 million ($1.22 million) include the transfer of non-current stock and fixed assets. Current season stock is being transferred on commercial terms.

It is expected that the appointment of the licence partner will be accretive to the group’s pre-tax profit in the current financial year. The positive impact of profit will increase during the later years of the contract.

Sojitz Infinity CEO Kohei Ono said Ted Baker is a brand the company has followed since its arrival in Japan.

“We 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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