Joules, the Market Harborough-based lifestyle brand, has revealed that with the duration of the new lockdown uncertain, if restrictions continue through to 1 April 2021, the potential loss in group revenues resulting from the closure of its stores, the cancellation of country shows and disruption to wholesale partners would be in the range of £14 to £18 million.
The company revealed the concerns in a trading update for its retail channels during the seven-week period to 3 January 2021. The update highlighted that total retail sales through Joules’ websites increased 66% year on year while total store sales declined by 58%, reflecting the enforced closures of non-essential stores and reduced footfall as and when stores were able to remain open.
During the periods that stores were able to trade, revenue was 23% lower when compared to the corresponding prior year periods, reflecting lower overall footfall trends, in particular over the last two weeks of the period.
Total retail revenue through Joules’ own-branded retail channels during the period was up by 0.3% against the prior year, with the growth in Joules e-commerce sales more than offsetting the decline from stores.
At 3 January 2021, the group had net cash of £13 million and total liquidity headroom of £63 million.
Nick Jones, CEO of Joules, said: “We are pleased with the continued strong performance delivered across our digital channels during the Christmas trading period and are encouraged by the increasing customer awareness of, and demand for, the Joules brand.
“This has been supported by our Friends of Joules digital marketplace which added a great range of products and gifting options for customers throughout the Christmas trading period.
“Whilst the latest round of restrictions on store retail across the UK present a further challenge for the retail sector as we enter 2021, we remain very confident that Joules, as a highly relevant, digital-led brand with an engaged and growing customer base and healthy balance sheet, is well positioned to navigate these challenges. As a result, we remain as excited as ever by our long-term growth prospects.”