Ted Baker, Wooster Street

With store traffic still compromised in most physical locations around the U.S., Ted Baker is giving its loyal shoppers another way to connect with the brand for the holiday season.

This week, the U.K.-based men’s and women’s brand teamed with Hero, a messaging app that specializes in virtual shopping, to replicate its in-store shopping experience digitally. The program, called Ask Ted Baker, is available on the company’s e-commerce site and allows customers to connect with a member of the staff at their nearest retail store location to initiate a live chat. By sharing texts, photos and videos, the staff can provide guidance, recommendations and styling advice to shoppers remotely.

Right now, Hero is only available at six stores in the U.S., but will be rolled out to the U.K. later this month, the company said. The program is available in SoHo and Columbus Circle stores in New York, as well as units in Miami, Dallas, Oakbrook, Ill., and Glendale, Calif. All told, Ted Baker operates 28 stores in the U.S.

Jennifer Roebuck, chief customer officer at Ted Baker, said: “As our e-commerce channel continues to grow during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, elevating our online customer experience is a key business priority. By partnering with Hero, we’re enabling critical tools to stay connected with our customers and bring the physical shopping experience to them at home.”

In addition to the partnership with Hero, Ted Baker has expanded its payment methods to include Apple Pay and Klarna, introduced an in-store styling service and a ship-from-store option in the U.K. Earlier this month, as reported, the company introduced an elevated Made in Britain collection for men and women more skewed to contemporary, luxury fashion, and named Anthony Cuthbertson, the former global design director for Topshop, its global creative director. The company has been undergoing a major corporate and business restructuring following the resignation of its founder, Ray Kelvin, who had also served as its creative director, the elevation of Rachel Osborne to chief executive officer and the reduction of about 25 percent of its workforce.

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