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Joules in talks about new investments with founder, others as sales suffer

(Reuters) -Struggling British fashion retailer Joules Group said on Monday it was in advanced talks with strategic investors, including its founder Tom Joule, for a cornerstone investment in an equity raise for the company as sales continue to suffer.

Joules said sales in the 11 weeks to Oct. 30 have been lower than its expectations, hurt by lower demand for outerwear, wellies and knitwear due to milder than expected weather.

Joules had launched a turnaround plan in September, as it struggles with its finances, profitability and cash generation, and consumers turn cautious about spending amid a cost of living crisis.

Talks with larger rival Next Plc had failed to lead to an investment into the Leicestershire-based company.

Joules said it was also looking at alternative options, including a company voluntary arrangement planning, and remains in discussions with its lenders for a waiver of certain financial covenants.

A cornerstone investment is an agreement by an investor or group of investors to subscribe for a fixed monetary amount of shares in a new equity raise.

(Reporting by Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)