// Joules sales drop during Christmas thanks to stock availability issues
// The fashion retailer has now issued a profit warning
// Sales were “significantly behind expectations”
Joules sales over Christmas dropped as the retailer blamed stock availability issues on the decline.
The fashion retailer has now issued a profit warning after sales over the seven weeks to January 5 fell 4.5 per cent.
Sales were “significantly behind expectations” and as a result, Joules anticipated that underlying profit before tax for the year would be “significantly below market expectations” of £16.7 million.
Joules said the stock availability issue “has now been addressed”.
It also said it had established an outsourcing partnership with “a leading logistics provider” to run its UK supply chain operations. It would be seeking a new US logistics partner.
“We are disappointed with our inability to fully satisfy our customers’ demand through our online channel during the important Christmas sale period,” Joules chief executive Nick Jones said.
“We have identified the root cause of this one-off issue and have taken steps to prevent its reoccurrence.
“Demand for the Joules brand and its unique products remains strong, with continued growth in total customer numbers and website traffic as well as robust results in our stores and partner retail channels.
“We remain focused on continuing to expand the Joules brand and are making significant enhancements to our supply chain operations in the UK and US to deliver both future capacity growth and efficiency.”
The brand said that its stores and concessions, which had “good stock availability”, performed in line with expectations for the period.
Meanwhile, traffic to Joules’ website also grew by eight per cent.