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Gloucestershire Business News

£2 million loss for Joules

Fashion retailer Joules has swung to a loss in its full year results, as the coronavirus crisis continues to hit sales.

Joules, which has stores in Cheltenham, Cirencester and Gloucester Quays, recorded a pre-tax loss of £2 million for the 53 weeks to 31st May, compared with a £12.9 million profit for 2018-19.

The company said the loss was due to both the covid-19 lockdown and issues around stock availability during the Christmas trading period.

Sales fell by 12.5 per cent on the previous year to £190.8 million. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, in-store sales were down by around eight per cent.

Wholesale sales fell by 25.3 per cent during the year, falling by 75 per cent in the final quarter. But online sales were up 11 per cent for the year and accounted for over half (57 per cent) of all retail sales.

While stores have been able to reopen since 15th June, Cheltenham's store only reopened a few days ago.

Joules said it is confident that it will be able to adapt to changes in customer behaviour in the future.

With more than a third of its 128 UK stores having leases up for renewal within 18 months, the retailer said it would continue to review its store portfolio.

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