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Joules reports 35% increase in online sales

Tom Shearsmith
05 November 2020

Lifestyle retailer Joules said its stores continued to perform ahead of board expectations before the four-week national lockdown that kicks off today.

In a trading update for the first 22 weeks its financial year, which started in June, the retailer announced strong year-on-year e-commerce growth of 35%, with e-commerce revenue accounting for 70% of retail sales.

Retail sales since the re-opening of Joules stores in July are down 18% year-on-year, much less than anticipated. Wholesale and international sales also performed in line with expectations for the period.

Its active customer base has now grown to 1.5 million, reflecting the strength of the Joules brand. ‘New to brand’ customer growth is also reported to have been particularly strong, benefitting from a focused digital marketing investment and positive impact of the Friends of Joules digital marketplace.

The balance sheet remains strong for Joules, with net cash of £9.4 million and liquidity headroom of £57 million at 1 November 2020.

Nick Jones, CEO of Joules, commented: “Joules has continued to trade well with sales in the financial year to date ahead of the Board’s expectations. We have seen strong growth in our customer base during recent months, benefiting from our focus on digital marketing, the attractive locations of our stores and the increasingly broad customer offer through our Friends of Joules digital marketplace.

"As we enter the peak trading season, the retail sector in England faces the challenge of having to close non - essential stores for the next four weeks. Despite this difficult backdrop, Joules has a very strong brand and a flexible business model, which has underpinned the Group’s robust performance to date during COVID-19. In addition, we are well positioned from an operations and financial perspective, having built on the experience and lessons from the Spring lockdown.

"Our e-commerce business now represents 70% of our retail sales and we have made significant investments in capacity to ensure that we can continue to drive and satisfy demand through this increasingly important channel as we adapt to changing consumer behaviours."

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