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Joules diversifies into home and garden with The Garden Trading Company acquisition

Lauretta Roberts
09 February 2021

Joules has diversified into the home and garden market with the acquisition of The Garden Trading Company, a digitally led retailer of home and garden products inspired by the British countryside.

The premium British fashion and lifestyle brand said the move aligns with its strategy to grow its customer base, broaden its product offer and strengthen its digital platform. It also takes the business into a fast-growing category that complements its fashion offer.

Garden Trading reported sales of £16.8m in the year to 30 November 2020 and profits of £2m, having achieved growth of 40% year on year. The company designs its own range of distinctive home, garden and outdoor products that it sells through its own digital platform direct to consumers and to more than 1,000 stockists across the UK. 

Joules paid £9m for the business in the form of an upfront consideration of a £4.5m cash payment and 2.83m new Joules ordinary shares of 1p each. The deferred consideration is for up to £3.5m (of which at least £3m will be paid in cash and the rest either in cash or Ordinary Shares, at the group’s discretion), subject to Garden Trading meeting certain targets over the period to 30 November 2021. 

Joules said it intends to continue to develop and grow the Garden Trading brand and product range while also seeing opportunity to leverage Garden Trading’s design and sourcing strengths to develop a broader range of Joules-branded home, garden and outdoor products. 

“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Garden Trading, which is a fast-growing and highly complementary brand to Joules in the attractive home, garden & outdoor category. The acquisition will help to increase the Joules customer base, broaden our product offering and strengthen our digital platform, which are three of the Group’s key strategic growth pillars. 

“The Garden Trading brand shares similar design-led principles to Joules and, as has been demonstrated through its stand-out popularity on the Friends of Joules digital marketplace over the past 15 months, is highly relevant to our customers and their lifestyles. 

“Garden Trading has a fantastic team and culture, which is closely aligned to Joules’. I am delighted to welcome Garden Trading’s team to the Joules family and look forward to working with them all over the coming years," said Joules CEO Nick Jones. 

Jon Holloway, Founder of Garden Trading, commented: “We are delighted to be joining Joules, which is a business and brand I have long admired. Since we started selling through the Friends of Joules digital marketplace more than a year ago it has become increasingly clear how well our products and brand resonate with the Joules customer base. In addition, by working with the Joules team it is clear that we share similar values, culture and customer-centric approach. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues as well as our loyal customers who have helped to develop Garden Trading into the established and popular brand it is today. With the continued dedication of the Garden Trading team alongside the support and infrastructure that Joules offers, I am very confident in the growth opportunities ahead for the Garden Trading brand.” 

Joules has been a robust performer during the COVID-19 crisis. Last month it revealed that forced store closures due to lockdowns led to a 15.3% drop in sales in the 26 weeks to 29 November but profits were ahead of forecast.

It achieved sales of £94.5m in the six-month period with profit before tax before exceptional items of £3.7m, down from £8.4m in the corresponding period in the prior year, which was a better than expected performance.

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