Shares in Ted Baker have hit a three-year low in London after allegations of “forced hugging” about the fashion group’s founder and boss, Ray Kelvin.

Stock in the firm, which issues a trading update on Thursday, closed down 15%, or £2.76, at £15.50, on Monday.

A petition, launched by employees, accuses 62-year-old Kelvin of inappropriate comments and behaviour.

The firm says a “thorough independent investigation” will be conducted into the allegations, which it disputes.

But what is astonishing is how quickly and to what extent shareholders have priced in future weakness in trading, a sure sign that the world is changing fast.