Joules sales push higher despite ‘challenging’ retail backdrop

Fashion retailer Joules has cheered rising sales in the run-up to Christmas, despite the challenging retail backdrop.

The high street retailer credited its “disciplined” promotional activity and strong online growth for a jump in sales for the half year.

Joules said revenues increased by 1.3% in the half year to November, driven by a 3.1% uptick in retail revenues.

Nick Jones, who joined the retailer as chief executive in September, said that strong sales momentum has put them in a strong position ahead of the key Christmas period.

He added that he has been struck by the “exceptional strength” of the Joules brand since joining the business, and sees more growth potential.

The company sales have improved over recent months after a “challenging” September.

It said that sales online and in stores over the past two months have risen by 9%, despite tough high street conditions.

Joules said it is now set to open four more stores ahead of Christmas due to the positive performance across the group.

International revenues increased by 17% during the six-month period on the back of growth in its US wholesale business as well as “very strong” e-commerce growth outside the UK.

Meanwhile, UK wholesale revenues slipped 3.8%, which it said reflected the conversion of some of its larger accounts into concessions and the challenging retail environment.

Nick Jones, chief executive of Joules, said: “Joules has delivered further profitable growth during the period despite the continued challenging trading environment.

“This performance again reflects the appeal of the brand, the flexibility of our ‘total retail’ model and the hard work and skill of our team, who have not only helped deliver growth in this tougher climate but have also launched innovative new initiatives like ‘Friends of Joules’ that create future growth opportunities.

“We continue to invest in our proposition to meet changing customer expectations in a scalable and profitable way and, with positive momentum across both digital and physical channels, we are well placed as we enter the important Christmas trading period.”

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