Gross digital sales at joules increased by 55% in the 26 weeks to 29 November, helping offset a 15.3% drop in stores sales and seeing the company log a better than expected £94.5m in sales.
Profits before tax were down to £3.7m from last years’ £8.4m, but Joules said the results were better than expected.
Gross digital sales rose an impressive 55% during the period, including a boost in sales on the Friends of Joules third-party brands site, as shoppers were forced online by lockdowns 2 and 3 in the UK. Active customers increased by 160,000 to 1.6m.
The company says that ecommerce in January has more than offset the impact of store closures over Christmas and into the New Year. Christmas online revenue was up 0.3%.
Joules CEO Nick Jones says: “We are pleased with the Group’s performance during the first half of the FY21 financial year with strong growth in active customers and profits ahead of the Board’s expectations. This performance, underpinned by very strong sales growth through our digital channels, was achieved despite challenging trading conditions and extended periods of store closures.”
Jones adds: “The Group’s progress continues to reflect the strength of our flexible and digital-led model, growing customer base and strong brand as well as the talent and dedication of our teams. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to all Joules colleagues for their hard work as well as to our customers and partners for their continued support.”
He concludes: “Whilst the retail sector will continue to face near and medium-term challenges as a result of the pandemic, I remain confident that Joules – underpinned by the strength of our brand as well as the Group’s flexible and scalable platform – remains well positioned to achieve its strategic objectives to grow as a leading lifestyle brand and digital marketplace.”