Joules has provided a ray of sunshine for the retail sector by increasing its profit forecasts in the wake of stronger-than-expected sales results for the six-month period ending at 1st December.
The fashion retail brand is well-known for its countryside style and classic fashion with a modern, quirky British twist, with lines designed for men, women and children, as well as home accessories, furnishings and more. Perhaps most obviously equated with its bright Wellington boots and lined print gilets, its quality fashion offering is winning over new customers and ensuring loyalty from its existing base.
Joules’ pre-tax profits jumped to £8.3 million during the six-month period – a gain of over 22pc. Group sales rose to £96.2 million – an increase of over 18pc. The company now anticipates that its full-year profits will exceed original city expectations. Joules has also managed to grow its sales over the seven-week holiday period to 7 January by 19pc, despite avoiding a deep discount sale frenzy.
The news has been a welcome dose of positivity in a sector dogged with disappointing results from leading high street brands that included Card Factory, Mothercare, Moss Bross, Carpetright and Debenhams, all of which were forced to post profit warnings after slow sales during the festive period.
During the six-month trading period to November end, Joules increased its retail sales by 16pc and saw shop sales increase by 14pc, even in the face of lower footfalls in the high street during the period. International sales grew by 26c and now represent 11pc of total sales for the group. Wholesale revenues also saw a boost by 23pc.
CEO, Colin Porter, said that the brand had been able to withstand the challenges on the high street by working hard to position itself as a unique offer that stood out from the crowd. He explained that careful positioning of stores away from urban centres and instead in country locations and market towns meant that families were happy to drop in and shop as part of their outdoor leisure activities, such as walking or lunching. In this way, Joules does not have to rely on shoppers heading specifically to the high street as a focused retail activity.
Joules has also enjoyed increased revenue from a number of licensing deals which have seen its designs featured on branded toiletries at Boots, on sofas at DFS and on glasses at Vision Express. This enables it to enjoy a high degree of agility in a challenging domestic market, by operating retail strategies across multiple trading channels.
Over one million customers also now buy from Joules overseas, and its products are stocked in over 1,500 concessions across the world, with Germany and the US representing the largest overseas markets.
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