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Joules boss to exit as retailer warns cost of living will hit profits

·2-min read

The boss of Joules has said he will quit the fashion retailer as it also warned the soaring cost of living has hit company profits.

Shares in the company plummeted by more than a third as investors digested the announcement.

Nick Jones revealed that he will step down as Joules’ chief executive in the first half of the next financial year, after three years at the business.

Mr Jones’ departure comes after the company’s share value tumbled by more than 80% over the past year.

Coronavirus – Mon Aug 10, 2020
Joules said the rising cost of living has weighed on demand for full-price products (Liam McBurney/PA)

Joules said it will start its search for a new boss “immediately” to ensure a smooth transition.

Ian Filby, non-executive chairman of the brand, said: “On behalf of the board and everyone at Joules, I would like to thank Nick for his significant efforts over the last three years.

“He has led the business with integrity, care and energy during what has been a particularly challenging period for the retail sector, including during Covid-19.”

On Wednesday, the company also said “challenging” market conditions and weak consumer confidence have impacted recent trading.

“Joules has not been immune to these sector-wide pressures, which have led the group’s profit performance to fall below management’s expectations,” it said in a statement.

Joules added that reduced demand for full-price items has impacted profit margins across its owns channels.

It also said profits would be impacted by “subdued” demand for home and garden products and reported that third party sales have been “weaker than expected” across some key UK accounts.

Mr Jones said: “Joules is a fantastic brand with great people, loyal customers, and a differentiated product offering.

“Underpinned by the strategic actions we are taking to optimise the business, Joules will emerge stronger and better positioned to achieve long-term, profitable growth.”

Joules shares were 36% lower at 35.17p at the close of play.

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