Joules pre­par­ing to re­lo­cate work over ‘No Deal’ fear

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FRONT PAGE - Mark Casci BUSI­NESS EDI­TOR @MarkCasci

Fash­ion re­tailer Joules has re­vealed it is set­ting up an EU dis­tri­bu­tion hub and or­der­ing prod­ucts early as part of con­tin­gency plans for a po­ten­tial hard Brexit.

The group also said that it is brac­ing for ex­pected in­creased ad­min­is­tra­tive ac­tiv­i­ties and is ramp­ing up its cur­rency hedg­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in an­tic­i­pa­tion of volatil­ity in the pound as Brexit day ap­proaches.

Joules said in a trad­ing up­date: “Con­tin­gency plans have been put in place to mit­i­gate the ex­pected dis­rup­tion that could arise in the event of a ‘hard Brexit’.

“Th­ese plans in­clude es­tab­lish­ing an EU-based third party dis­tri­bu­tion fa­cil­ity; sched­ul­ing ear­lier in­bound prod­uct de­liv­er­ies for our Spring/ Sum­mer 2019 ranges; prepa­ra­tion for ex­pected in­creased ad­min­is­tra­tive ac­tiv­i­ties; and hedg­ing US dol­lar re­quire­ments more than 12 months for­ward.”

Busi­nesses across the coun­try are pre­par­ing for a worst case hard Brexit sce­nario, which would see im­ports and ex­ports de­layed, ports and roads grid­locked and the pound come un­der ex­treme pres­sure. Joules made the an­nounce­ment along­side stel­lar fig­ures re­leased for the first half, which saw rev­enue for the pe­riod in­creased by 17.6 per cent to £113.1m.

Re­tail sales grew 21.2 per cent to £79.9m, de­fy­ing the wider gloom on the UK high street.

The re­sults were boosted by in­ter­na­tional sales in the likes of the US and Ger­many, and global sales now ac­count for ap­prox­i­mately half of to­tal whole­sale rev­enue.

Boss Colin Porter, in­set, said: “I am de­lighted to up­date on what has been an­other pe­riod of strong per­for­mance for Joules de­spite chal­leng­ing trad­ing con­di­tions.

“This per­for­mance, which is ahead of our ini­tial ex­pec­ta­tions for the pe­riod, is tes­ta­ment to the strength of the Joules brand, the en­gage­ment of our loyal cus­tomers with our prod­uct col­lec­tions, and our fan­tas­tic teams.”

Joules has a num­ber of stores in York­shire, in­clud­ing in Leeds, Sh­effield, Bev­er­ley, York, Har­ro­gate, Ilk­ley, Northaller­ton and Skip­ton.

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