Joules, the troubled British retailer, is reportedly on the verge of being acquired by South Africa-based group TFG, also known as The Foschini Group. Unlike some potential buyers, TFG is expected to keep most of Joules’ stores as part of the deal. TFG already owns several fashion retailers in the UK, including Whistles, Hobbs, and Phase Eight, and has a successful track record of operating mid-sized brands both online and in physical stores.

According to Sky News, TFG is currently in advanced discussions to take over Joules, and an official announcement could be made soon. It is anticipated that TFG will also purchase “the majority” of Joules’ assets, although approximately a quarter of the retailer’s 132 stores may have to close. While this would result in job losses, it is a more positive outcome compared to the potential closure of additional shops, which could have put over 1,500 jobs at risk.

The administrator responsible for handling Joules’ administration, Interpath Advisory, has yet to comment on the potential deal. There is still a possibility that another buyer may submit a last-minute offer. Companies such as Frasers Group and Next are believed to have shown interest in acquiring Joules. Next had considered taking a strategic stake in the retailer in the past but opted against it when the business’s value declined due to falling share prices.

Interpath Advisory previously mentioned that Joules had attracted significant interest from potential buyers and expressed optimism about securing a future for the brand. Despite being in administration, Joules is still operating. The company, founded by Tom Joule in 1989, experienced consistent growth and went public in 2016. However, it faced various challenges from external factors like the pandemic and supply chain issues, as well as internal issues that caused a decline in its share price. Ultimately, the company faced a cash shortage and recently filed for administration.

[Useful link 1: TFG Official Website]
[Useful link 2: Joules Official Website]