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Joules on brink of collapse with 1,600 jobs at risk after emergency talks collapse

Fashion retailer Joules is on the verge of collapse after the company revealed it was set to appoint directors.

Around 1,600 jobs are at risk after the company failed to secure a vital cash injection in another blow to the UK’s high street.

The brand said it discussed an emergency fundraising appeal with investors, including its founder Tom Joule, had failed and it was planned to notify the administrators as soon as possible.

Its subsidiaries, including online home and garden retailer The Garden Trading Company, were also threatened with closure.

Joules said, “The board is taking this action to protect the interests of its creditors.”

The Leicestershire-based chain is set to suspend trading in its shares, adding that further announcements will be made “in due course”.

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He will notify administrators “as soon as reasonably possible,” he said in today’s announcement.

The retailer’s impending collapse comes after furniture giant Made.com went into administration earlier this month, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

The company stopped taking new orders before negotiations over a possible bailout deal broke down.

Next bought the Made.com brand, websites and intellectual property, with the deal resulting in 320 layoffs and the loss of 79 employees who had already resigned.

Next had also been in talks with Joules over a deal to buy a minority stake in the business, but talks broke down in September.

What does this mean for customers?

People who have existing orders with Joules have been warned that companies going into administration may not accept returned items.

Lisa Webb, which one? Consumer rights expert said if items weren’t delivered, customers should try to claim a refund, but there was no guarantee they would get their money back.

She said: “The cost of repairs for faulty items could still be claimed if they came with a warranty.

“If you bought something with your credit card for more than £100, the card provider is jointly liable for any breach of contract.

“You can make a claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if the item is faulty or undelivered. If you have paid for goods which cost less than £100 on a credit or debit card , you may be able to claim a chargeback.

What does this mean for staff?

Joules has around 1,600 workers whose jobs are now at risk after the fashion company was pushed to the brink of collapse.

The company said it would file a notice of intention to appoint Interpath Advisory as directors.

After Made.com closed, around 400 of its 500 employees lost their jobs after the online furniture company agreed to sell its brand, websites and intellectual property to Next.

In a statement, the parent company of the Joules Group said: “On 7 November 2022, the company announced that it was in advanced discussions with a number of strategic investors to provide fundamental investment in a process to increase its capital.

“The company also announced that it is in discussions regarding a bridge financing proposal to enable continued progress with the refinancing plans mentioned above.

“The Board of Directors confirms that these discussions with various parties were unsuccessful and are now complete.”

Hazel J. Edmonds

The author Hazel J. Edmonds