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008. Jules B

Nine stores in the North of England including 91-93 Osborne Road, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne

Who you need to know Owners Julian and Rhona Blades

Brands include 7 For All Mankind, Acne, Gant, Hackett, Hugo Boss, J Brand, McQ By Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood

Mini-chain Jules B has triumphed at a time when many others have struggled. Established in 1985, it opened its ninth store in Yarm last year, and added an extension onto its menswear store in Kendal, developing an area to showcase heritage outerwear brand Barbour. Rivals are also in awe of its website, which accounts for 65% of sales.

Owner Julian Blades says reducing residual stock, improved buying and refusing to succumb to the discount trend has led to a 4% increase in margin in 2012.

Jules B will continue to drive efficiencies this year with a new EPoS system. He adds: “This inward focus on business is proving highly effective and allows us to make bigger profits and improve our financial management.”

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