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Joules primed for 'tough' trading, says chief

Joules CEO Nick Jones says the retailer is set up for a “successful Christmas” and ready to battle through further tough trading head winds, as it has “stepped up” its investments in the business.

The British lifestyle brand today reported a 1.3% year-on-year rise in revenues to £111.6m in the 26 weeks to 24 November, despite the “continued challenging trading environment”.

The results are stated on a comparative basis to include the Black Friday trading period in both years. Joules offered various discounts for different product categories over the Black Friday weekend and 20% off of everything across Cyber Monday and Tuesday.

Joules CFO Marc Dench attributed the positive results to the company’s continued investments: “For us it’s really about the fact we’ve kept that relentless focus on our brand and kept investing in the product, to make sure that the quality is there. And we’re also continuing to invest in the business. We haven’t thought, ‘Oh, it’s going to be a bit tougher, we’ll stop investing,” but we’ve actually stepped up investments, due to our confidence in the brand and products.”

He added: “However, we don’t look around where others are struggling and rub our hands. It’s a tough market out there. Everyone is feeling it. We hope the next year will be one where the consumer gets more confident and returns to their spending ways.”

Jones agreed: “Joules has continued to do a great job in investing in its ability to deliver growth for the long term, as well as making sure that we are relevant for our customer today. We’re sympathetic to the challenges, particularly Brexit, for customers out there. We’ve just got to continue to do our job for them, which is deliver great product at great prices and at great quality, across the whole retail estate.

“It’s tough out there, but we’re set up for a successful Christmas. We’re in a good shape to make the most of the Christmas opportunity. We will continue to be disciplined in how we promote and we will continue to make sure we’re doing everything we can.”

He added: “We’ve got our interim results out at the end of January and we’re confident in our ability to continue to grow the business in the financial year and in the years ahead, too.”

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