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Joules readies 100th store opening in Dublin

British lifestyle business Joules will open the doors of its 100th store later this week, in Dublin.

The 1,860 sq ft shop at 12 Wicklow Street will – its first in Ireland offering stock at full price – will showcase the retailer’s men’s, women’s and kidswear collections across two floors from November 20. Joules has an outlet store in the nearby Kildare Village.

In his first interview since his promotion to chief executive of Joules in September, Colin Porter told Drapers the business had spent three years looking for the perfect location in Ireland.

“We had been looking for three years as the pitch is very important. Wicklow Street is perfect as it is close to Grafton Street [one of Dublin’s main shopping streets] and so great for footfall, and there is a quirky and boutique vibe that is right for our shopper.”

The Dublin store will be followed by two openings in Yorkshire next week, in Harrogate and the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield.

Porter said the retailer is aiming to open a further 12 shops in the UK and Ireland next year across various locations, including market towns and shopping centres.

Joules has 500 wholesale stockists in the UK and Ireland. Porter said the order book for spring 16 was up 20% year on year.

Stockists are not nervous about its retail expansion, he added: “There is no such thing as cannibalisation [for us]. We are a growing brand, if we were saturated it might be a different story, but there are still areas in the UK where we do not have coverage.

”Even when we have opened shops near one of our stockists, their sales soar; it’s driving brand awareness.”

Internationally, the business is focusing on growing wholesale accounts in Germany, where it is currently in 200 doors, and the US where it is in 400.

“We are building the brand globally the same way we have here in the UK,” said Porter. “We want to build wholesale, supported by ecommerce, before we look at opening stores.”

Revenues at the business, which was established in 1989 in Market Harborough, increased 22% to £117m for the full year to May 31, while EBITDA increased 18% to £10.7m. 

Porter was promoted from managing director to chief executive in September, replacing founder Tom Joule, who has stepped back from the top job but remains in the business focused on the brand and creative design.

Porter joined Joules as chief operating officer in 2010. He was previously commercial director at House of Fraser for 10 years.

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