British high-end retailer group Joules’ active customer base now stands at over 2 million, a 10% increase on last year. Brand awareness also increased 2.5% year-on-year to 47.3%. The group continues to make good progress with its initiatives to simplify the business and improve profitability.

In the group’s previous commercial update of July 19, 2022, it reported significant pressure on gross margins, with consumer appetite favoring markdowns in a heavily promotional environment.

British high-end retailer group Joules’ active customer base now stands at over 2 million, a 10% increase on last year. Brand awareness also increased 2.5% year-on-year to 47.3%. The group continues to make good progress with its initiatives to simplify the business and improve profitability.

Over the next five weeks (until August 14), trading weakened significantly. Recent extremely hot and dry summer weather has negatively impacted full-price sales of core categories such as outerwear, rainwear, knitwear and wellies and exacerbated the continued weak consumer demand due to the well-documented cost of living crisis. Retail sales were consequently depressed during this five-week period, resulting in an 8% reduction in retail sales year-over-year in the 11 weeks of the current financial year. to date, the company said in a press release.

Joules brand wholesale recorded 10% year-over-year growth despite delays at U.S. ports, but wholesale gardening continued to be significantly impacted by the slowdown more wide of the home and garden market.

Retailer margins year-to-date are down about 6% from a year earlier. This reflects the lack of full-price sales and the level of discount that has been necessary to engage customers in the heavily promotion-driven retail landscape. While overall margins have been weak since the start of the year, we expect a partial recovery in the coming months as sales of full-price fall/winter collections become a larger part of the mix.

At the end of July, the group’s net debt was £21.1m, leaving room for maneuver under its bank facilities of £11.4m. The group has since completed documentation of the previously announced £5m addition to its borrowing facilities. This will be available until November 2022, to help support the group’s working capital needs on its next seasonal borrowing peak. The group will continue to manage its cash resources carefully and expects to have sufficient liquidity to manage its working capital requirements, including the repayment of the extended facilities in November 2022.

The group plans to require a waiver of certain covenants on its facilities and is currently in positive discussions with its bank in this regard. The group also continues to have positive discussions with its bank on its medium-term financing, including a review of covenants to enable progress on the previously announced business simplification and cost reduction measures.

Fibre2Fashion (RR) Press Office


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