Retail chain expanding
Joules relaunches in capital with eye on Perth
Childrens and countrywear retailer Joules will open its latest store in Edinburgh this week, the largest in Britain.
It has confirmed plans to open in Perth, but contrary to speculation it is not looking at the closed McEwens department store.
Its new George St store is three times larger than the former outlet in the same road and the company is recruiting 16 staff in addition to the eight making the move.
Joules was launched by Tom Joule in 1989 and admitted to the Alternative Investment Market this year, is bucking the retail squeeze by opening more stores.
The business raised £77.5 million from its £150m initial public offering in May, the bulk of which went to previous shareholders including its founder who held an 80% stake.
Three years ago he launched a collaboration with the Edinburgh-based Cheeky Chompers baby products company after seeing its founders turned down for funds on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den.
Joules made £5m profit on £116.4m in sales during the year to the end of March.
The Edinburgh store is the latest among a spate of retail openings in the city by incoming and domestic investors.
The US cosmetics chain Bobbi Brown has just opened its first store in Scotland in the same street. Arran Aromatics is also opening a larger store in George St.
Increased interest and the subsequent squeeze on available space has lifted rents in the central core from £200 per sq ft to £250-260 per sq ft.
The new Ann Summers store in Princes St commanded £230 per sq ft.
As revealed by Daily Business last month there are plans to split the former BHS store into two shops facing Princes Street with two restaurants and a hotel facing Rose Street and on the upper floors.
A £50m scheme will involve demolishing the present store and replacing it with a higher building to accommodate the restaurant. There is already said to be a high level of interest.