Covid-19: Joules' eCommerce demand proves resilient in crisis

Country fashion retailer Joules said today (21 April) that its eCommerce performance has been better than expected since the Covid-19 coronavirus took hold in the UK.

Online traffic and demand has been running ahead of Joules revised expectations, set at the time the UK government announced a lockdown period and told ‘non-essential’ shops to temporarily close

In an operational update, Joules said eCommerce – which typically represents around half of its overall retail sales – remains open for business, but that customer demand is being managed carefully to ensure its distribution centre partner can operate safely.

Joules said “robust physical distancing and hygiene procedures” have been implemented at its distribution facilities, operated in partnership with Clipper Logistics.

The retailer also noted that it continues to see “strong levels of customer engagement” via its social media channels and on its digital marketplace, Friends of Joules.

Nick Jones, CEO of Joules, commented: "Our eCommerce sales over recent weeks continue to demonstrate the strength of the Joules brand and the loyalty of our customer base.

“We know that further challenging times are ahead, but we are confident that, with the continued support of our colleagues, customers and the wider Joules community of suppliers and partners, Joules is well positioned to manage these challenges.”

Joules confirmed today the successful completion of a £15 million increase to its revolving credit facility with Barclays Bank, following an equity placing announced on 3 April. Alongside mitigating actions involving support from suppliers, landlords, and employees, Joules expects the equity placing will help it navigate this challenging period.

The group’s net debt position as of 19 April was £6.9 million, with £43.1 million of available headroom.

Meanwhile, Joules has curated a 'Rainbow Edit' collection, with all profits generated from sales of this collection going to NHS Charities Together. Almost £35,000 has been raised to support the charity so far.

The retailer has also used its existing supply chain to support local Leicestershire health services and key partners during the crisis by providing personal protective equipment – approximately 50,000 face masks have been sourced through this method, so far.