Authentic Brands Group chooses OSL to operate Ted Baker in North America

Authentic Brands Group has signed the first license for one of the newest members of the family: Ted Baker.

In October, the brand development and marketing platform closed a deal to acquire the London-based brand for £211 million or $254 million. And now it has found a partner to grow the business in North America.

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Authentic has signed a long-term strategic partnership with OSL Retail Services, an Ontario, Canada-based company specializing in retail operations, distribution and digital marketing for a list of Fortune 500 companies, including Walmart Inc. and Samsung.

Under the terms of the deal, the current New York-based Ted Baker team will join OSL, where the companies will work together to operate the company’s more than 80 stores and concessions, wholesale distribution and the website in the U.S. and manage Canada. .

Core categories include men’s and women’s sportswear and outerwear, men’s shirts, women’s dresses and fashion handbags that continue to be designed and supplied by Ted Baker’s London headquarters.

In its last annual report as a public company, North America represented 30 percent of Ted Baker’s total revenue of £428 million as of January 29, 2022. An Authentic spokesperson did not disclose what percentage of Ted Baker’s business is in North America. In total, the brand operates 191 stores, in-store shops and outlets in 49 countries.

“An important part of our growth strategy has been securing a leading North American operator for Ted Baker and maintaining the brand’s UK-based design hub,” said John McNamara, chief transition officer for Authentic, who led the transition . “This collaboration ticks an important box within Authentic’s global Ted Baker strategy to build a network of leading partners who are operational experts around the world. We are very excited to partner with retail pioneer OSL on this strategy.”

“Ted Baker is a unique British brand with a rich heritage, and we look forward to further enhancing the brand’s position in the US and Canada, enhancing its relationship with its existing consumer base and expanding its fan base in North America. expand,” said Brett Farren, CEO of OSL.

At the time of the acquisition last year, Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Authentic, said the plan for Ted Baker was to build on the brand’s global base through a business model focused on licensing, wholesale, retail, digital and strategic marketing. partnerships.

Founded in 1987 by Ray Kelvin, Ted Baker has been a recognizable brand on the British high street for decades with its quirky, colorful take on the season’s trends. However, the past few years have not been easy for the company. Kelvin resigned in 2019 after staff complaints about inappropriate physical contact (which he always denied), and the company posted a series of profit warnings and faced accounting and management issues.

With those issues in the rearview mirror, Ted Baker can settle into authenticity and benefit from his global expertise.

For several years, Authentic has been the most important player in the acquisition market worldwide. It recently bought Reebok from Adidas for $2.1 billion, and also partnered with David Beckham to own and manage his company, DB Ventures.

But the business doesn’t stop there. It is close to completing the purchase of Boardriders Inc., the owner of Quiksilver and Billabong, in a deal expected to be in the range of $1.3 billion, sources said.

The purchase is still finalizing and the timing keeps getting pushed back, but sources say it’s not expected this week.

The acquisition of Boardriders would fit well into Authentic’s licensing model and would complement surf and skate brand Volcom as well as some of its other sports-related properties, such as Spyder and Prince.

While reports have been circulating about Authentic’s interest in Hunter Boots, a source said the company is not seriously considering a purchase at this time, although it had expressed initial interest. Instead, the focus is on completing the deal for Boardriders and further strengthening Ted Baker’s partners.

Authentic owns more than 40 brands in the fashion, lifestyle, entertainment and media worlds, including Brooks Brothers, Eddie Bauer, Forever 21, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Sports Illustrated, Juicy Couture and Nine West. Its brands generate $24.5 billion in annual retail sales worldwide and operate more than 10,000 freestanding and in-store stores around the world.

Founded in 2012 to provide sales solutions in retail, merchandising and customer acquisition, OSL partners with more than 2,000 stores in North America.

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