Joules, the struggling lifestyle and fashion retailer, has responded to recent media speculation surrounding Next’s potential interest in purchasing a stake in the company. In a recent statement to the London Stock Exchange, Joules clarified that talks with Next are still ongoing and described them as “positive.”

The statement was issued in response to various media reports and confirms that the discussions with Next Group Plc include the possibility of adopting Next’s Total Platform services to support Joules’ long-term growth plans, as well as a potential equity investment. However, Joules emphasized that there is no guarantee that these talks will result in an agreement, and further announcements will be made if and when appropriate.

Although the clarification statement is brief, it indicates that the talks have not been abandoned. Previous reports from Sky News had suggested that Next hadn’t made a formal proposal to buy a stake in Joules due to insufficient financial information. Furthermore, the decline in Joules’ share price since the talks began suggested that an agreement at the previously anticipated price of 33p per share was unlikely. On the day before the holiday, Joules’ shares closed at just over 25p.

Joules has encountered difficulties within its supply chain and has struggled to navigate the challenging consumer environment. The unusually hot British summer also impacted sales for the business, as the demand for staple items like raincoats and sweaters decreased.

Although the outcome of the ongoing discussions between Joules and Next remains uncertain, the confirmation of positive talks offers a glimmer of hope for the struggling retailer. Joules will continue to work with Next to explore potential opportunities for growth and investment. Any further updates will be shared with stakeholders in an appropriate manner.

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