Daily Mail

1,600 jobs put at risk as Joules teeters on the brink of collapse

- By Archie Mitchell

AROUND 1,600 jobs are at risk after Joules admitted it has failed to secure a cash injection to stay afloat.

The yummy mummy fashion retailer has teetered on the brink of collapse for weeks.

But yesterday the retailer said it is appointing administra­tors.

The retailer, a favourite of the Prince and Princess of Wales as well as presenter Holly Willoughby and singer Taylor Swift, said last week it was in talks with founder Tom Joule about a temporary loan to stave off the collapse.

The firm was also considerin­g a fresh fundraisin­g on the stock market after being hammered by a drop-off in demand and huge increases in shipping and other costs. But Joules said rescue talks had fallen through and it would appoint KPMG’s former restructur­ing arm Interpath Advisory ‘as soon as reasonably practicabl­e’.

As a result, Joules shareholde­rs, whose investment­s had plummeted 96pc in the past year, have seen the value of their holdings wiped out.

And it is also a further blow to the High Street as many or all of Joules’s 130 stores will shut.

Mr Joule said it was ‘a deeply disappoint­ing day for Joules, and a sad day for me personally’.

Advisers will likely look for a buyer with retail analyst Nick Bubb saying there is ‘no doubt Next will be poised to pick up the pieces’. The High Street giant planned to plough £15m into Joules before pulling out of talks in September.

Other likely bidders include Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group with M&S also tipped as a potential contender. Joule could try to snap up the business and said he hoped to ‘continue to play an important role’ in its future. Doncaster-based businessma­n Richard Teatum, who bought up a huge chunk of Joules in recent months, could also make a swoop. ■ GIEVES & Hawkes, which can be traced back to 1771, is up for sale after its Hong Kong-based owner Trinity Group collapsed last year. Sky News reported Frasers Group is in advanced talks to buy the brand.

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