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Exclusive: Jones Bootmaker closes nine stores following review

Jones Bootmaker has closed nine stores following a review of the business by its new owners, Drapers can reveal.

The footwear retailer was bought by private equity firm Endless through a pre-pack administration in March. Endless acquired 72 Jones stores, while 25 underperforming stores and six concessions were not part of the sale and were closed.

Endless and new Jones CEO Koray Gul, the former Asda executive who was drafted in to run the business in June, have since been conducting a review of the store estate and made the decision to close a further nine shops at the weekend. The location of these stores is not yet known.

A spokeswoman for the 160-year-old retailer said every part of the business is being looked at, and the management team are focusing on “stability and delivering long-term growth to ensure the retailer is here for another 160 years.”

Footwear sources told Drapers a further 10 Jones stores are “at risk of closure” following poor trade. However, Jones declined to comment on how many other shops are earmarked for closure as talks with landlords are ongoing.

One brand source said: “The closures seem to be in expensive locations in large towns and cities, which would suggest Jones may be going back to its roots of market towns. There’s not going to be many stores left.”

The source added that the business has been operating its stores under licence, allowing them to continue to close locations if necessary.

Jones currently has 63 stores in the UK. Drapers understands the business is rolling out a store refit programme across its remaining shops, starting with the store in St Albans. All stores will be refitted by the end of the year.

 

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