// Joules posts trading update as all stores go into four-week closure
// Lifestyle brand says despite lockdown, it is on track to meet board expectations by end of FY
// Online revenue accounted for 70% of group’s sales
Joules said stores have continued to perform ahead of board expectations in its financial year to date, as it closes all of its stores in England for the four-week national lockdown.
Reporting back on the first 22 weeks of its financial year to May 31, Joules said its performance for the period had remained ahead of board expectations, driven by strong online sales.
Ecommerce sales grew 35 per cent year-on-year for the premium lifestyle brand, with online revenue accounting for 70 per cent of the group’s retail sales for the period.
Since re-opening its stores in July, sales were down 18 per cent year-on-year.
Joules noted that its wholesale and international sales had also performed in line with expectations.
Despite the tempestuous time for retailers, Joules said its ‘new to brand’ customer growth had been particularly strong in recent months, with the business’ active customer base growing to 1.5 million.
Joules said that notwithstanding the significant levels of uncertainty of the coming peak trading season, it remains on track to deliver its expectations for the full financial year.
“Joules has continued to trade well with sales in the financial year to date ahead of the Board’s expectations,” chief executive Nick Jones said on Thursday.
“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,” Jones added.