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Joules update: what the latest news means for shoppers

H9EA6B The Joules stall at the Royal Norfolk Show in the Showground , Norwich , Norfolk , England , Britain , Uk

Joules has collapsed into administration putting 1,600 jobs and 132 stores at risk, weeks before Christmas.

The firm, which has strong ties with the equestrian world, announced on Monday (14 November) that its board had resolved to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators after rescue talks failed.

News broke yesterday (Wednesday, 16 November) that Will Wright, Ryan Grant and Chris Pole from Interpath Advisory were appointed joint administrators of Joules Group plc and Joules Limited.

Mr Wright and Mr Grant have also been appointed joint administrators of linked companies Joules Developments Limited and the Garden Trading Company.

“Over the coming weeks, we will endeavour to continue to operate all stores as a going concern during this vitally important Christmas trading period while we assess options for the group, including a possible sale,” said Mr Wright, head of restructuring at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator.

“Since the group’s announcement on Monday, we have had an overwhelming amount of interest from interested parties. We will be working hard over the days ahead to assess this interest, but at this stage we are optimistic that we will be able to secure a future for this great British brand.”

A statement from Interpath Advisory added that the joint administrators will continue to trade the group as a going concern (a business that can continue trading) while they assess, “including exploring the possibility of a sale as a going concern”.

This latest update means all stores and concessions, including the online shop, will remain open and orders placed online will be delivered as usual.

The update added that valid gift cards will continue to be honoured, although customers will no longer be able to buy new gift cards either online or in stores.

Customers will be able to exchange items in store only for purchases already made, but refunds will not be available. And the returns policy for new purchases has been revised to 14 days.

A business update on 7 November cited the unusually warm autumn weather and current economic climate as having a significant impact on trading recently. This was followed a week later by the news that Joules was moving to appoint administrators after financial rescue talks failed.

Joules in its current form dates back to 1989, when Tom Joule bought out 80% of the family firm Joule & Sons and started selling clothing on a stand at a country show in Leicestershire.

The business has grown hugely since and its stands are a familiar sight at major equestrian events.

Its colourful, patterned clothing are a frequent sight in the horse world. It has created the official clothing collections for Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials for many years, and has also supported horse sport through sponsorship.

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