Joules, the fashion and lifestyle retailer, has exceeded expectations and shown positive progress for the year ending in May, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. The company’s strong digital momentum has remained strong, and its sales have surpassed expectations since reopening its physical stores in April. Overall, Joules’ revenue for the year increased by 4% to £199 million. This growth can be largely attributed to the strength of its digital offerings, an increased number of active customers, and the positive contributions from its acquisition of the Garden Trading Company in February.

The retail revenue of the group rose by 9% during the year, driven by the success of its own digital channels and the strong performance of its online marketplace, Friends of Joules. In particular, online sales through Joules’ own channels experienced an impressive growth of 48%, excluding third-party websites.

However, the physical stores faced challenges due to prolonged periods of temporary closure, resulting in a decline in sales of 41% compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, since reopening, store sales have performed better than expected, surpassing the comparable period two years ago. Joules credits this recent success to pent-up consumer demand and the advantageous locations of its stores in high streets and lifestyle destinations.

Despite the difficulties, Joules remains optimistic and has plans to open new stores, including three additional locations in Centre Parcs, bringing the total number of Center Parcs shops to five.

The wholesale channel was significantly impacted by enforced store closures and low footfall not only in the UK but also at Joules’ partners in the US and Germany. As a result, wholesale revenue declined by 17%.

Nevertheless, Joules expects its pre-tax profit, excluding exceptional items, to range between £5.5 million and £6.5 million, surpassing market expectations. The company’s financial position is described as robust, with a net cash balance of £4.7 million at the end of the period and approximately £39 million of liquidity headroom.

In addition to its positive performance, Joules announced the appointment of Caroline York as its new Chief Financial Officer, who will assume her role on July 26.

Overall, Joules has demonstrated impressive progress despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic. The company’s strong digital presence, successful online marketplace, and advantageous store locations have contributed to its resilience and growth. With a solid financial position and exciting plans for expansion, Joules is well-positioned to seize future opportunities in the fashion and lifestyle industry.

Three additional locations in Centre Parcs:
Link 1

Caroline York’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer:
Link 2