19 outlets close

Joules Edinburgh store shuts despite Next deal

Joules store in Edinburgh will close with immediate effect

High street brand Joules is closing 19 stores – including its outlet in Edinburgh – and cutting 133 jobs despite an eleventh hour deal between its founder Tom Joule and Next.

Next, which will own 74% of the business, is paying £34m for the assets and £7m for the head office. It said it will take on about 1,450 members of staff. Mr Joule will own the remaining 26% shareholding.

The Leicestershire-based company drafted in administrators from Interpath Advisory last month after failing to secure emergency funding following a surge in costs and slowdown in demand.

Following the agreement with Next, Mr Joule said: “After three years away from the operational side, I’m truly looking forward to inspiring teams with clear direction to excite and recapture the imagination of the customer again.

“I’m so pleased that we have been able to strike a deal that protects the future of the company for all its loyal customers, its employees and also for the town of Market Harborough, which have been so central to Joules’ success.”

The rescue of Joules comes weeks after Next bought the brand, websites and intellectual property for online furniture business Made.com after it also collapsed.

Next chief executive Simon Wolfson said Joules’ products would be put on his Total Platform, which sells goods from other brands.

“We are excited to see what can be achieved through the combination of Joules’ exceptional product, marketing and brand building skills with Next’s Total Platform infrastructure,” he said.

In 2013 Mr Joule 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 floated on the stock exchange in May 2016 with a value of £150m and in August that year it opened a shop in George St., Edinburgh which was its biggest in Britain. It later relocated to another outlet in the street.

The closure of the Edinburgh store comes just 24 hours after the owner of boutique retailer Jane Davidson said she was shutting her shop in Thistle Street.

Jollyes opens in Edinburgh

Nationwide pet retailer Jollyes is opening a 7,000 sq ft store at Hermiston Gait, Edinburgh, employing 16 staff. It will be its fifth store in Scotland.

Backed by Kester Capital, Jollyes has more than 80 stores across the UK. In July, it acquired Penparc Pet Centres which has five stores in the Midlands.

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