Joules Christmas trading impacted by stock issues
Joules has said it its sales over the Christmas trading period were below expectations after trading was impacted by a stock availability issue.
In the seven weeks to 5 January, retail sales were down 4.5%.
The lifestyle fashion retailer said the stock issue was internally generated and has now been addressed.
In contrast, traffic to the retailer’s website traffic grew by 8% but the stock issue meant that conversion rates were significantly down.
Nick Jones, Joules chief executive, said: “We are disappointed with our inability to fully satisfy our customers’ demand through our online channel during the important Christmas sale period. We have identified the root cause of this one-off issue and have taken steps to prevent its reoccurrence.
“Demand for the Joules brand and its unique products remains strong, with continued growth in total customer numbers and website traffic as well as robust results in our stores and partner retail channels.”
Joules has also announced that it has embarked on an outsourcing partnership with a logistics provider in the UK and is also moving its US distribution centre to a new partner. Both of these initiatives will incur some incremental non-recurring costs. It also expects some cost headwinds in the second half of its financial year from US-China tariffs.
As a result, the retailer now anticipates that its full year underlying pre-tax profit will be significantly below market expectations.
Jones added: “We remain focused on continuing to expand the Joules brand and are making significant enhancements to our supply chain operations in the UK and US to deliver both future capacity growth and efficiency.”
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