Julian Charles is expanding in the UK, with plans to open 30 new shops over the next 18 months.
At the same time, the multichannel retailer, ranked Top500 in RetailX research, is to rebrand its stores to Julian Charles Home while expanding its product range from bedding and linen into the wider homewares market. The plans for growth come as the retailer celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. It currently sells from 75 shops and concessions as well as online – ecommerce accounts for about 20% of sales.
Simon Peck, managing director of Julian Charles, says: “Following an excellent 18 months for the business, and having already revamped our online offering and extended our product range, we are now moving into the growth stage of our strategy. This involves increasing the number of Julian Charles locations across the country and using the successes of the past year as a springboard for the next.”
The Manchester-based business was founded in 1947 as Rectella Limited, which subsequently grew into a leading UK home textiles business that sold direct to customers under the Julian Charles brand. The business was running at a £2.1m loss when it was bought in June 2020 by SKG Capital. Its new owners launched a new commerce platform in November 2020 as part of a strategy of making it easier to buy from Julian Charles online. Now they are focusing on expansion via stores.
Neil Taylor, partner at SKG Capital, says: “When we bought Julian Charles, the business had the solid foundation of a respected high-end brand with a strong customer base. We saw the opportunity to build on the brand’s leadership in bedding and linen to create a distinctive player in the wider homewares sector.”
Julian Charles reported a loss of £2.1m in earnings before interest and one-off costs (EBITA) in the 18 months to October 2020, but broke even in the six months to April 2021. At the same time, it posted revenues of £4.2m – around 20% of which was online.