UK fashion retailer Joules faces collapse as inflation hits

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 06: A young model walks the runway for Joules collection during petitePARADE at Children’s Club at Jacob Javitz Center on August 6, 2017 in New York City. JP Yim/Getty Images for petitePARADE/AFP (Photo by JP Yim / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

London, United Kingdom | AFP |

UK fashion retailer Joules on Monday announced it was on the brink of collapse, as decades-high inflation hits business costs and consumer spending.

Joules, famous for its posh wellies, intends on appointing administrators to try to salvage some of the business, having failed to secure an emergency injection of cash, a statement said.

It added that trading of its shares had been suspended. Joules employs around 1,600 staff, while it sells its wares from more than 130 shops and online.

Joules said its move into administration was “to protect the interests of its creditors”.

It follows the collapse last week of British online furniture store after it was hammered by surging costs and supply-chain disruptions.

“Retailers including Joules have been grappling with the rising cost of everything from materials to workers’ wages to energy bills,” noted Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor.

UK inflation stands at a 40-year high of more than 10 percent and is forecast to rise further before the end of the year.

Companies and individuals in the UK are meanwhile facing a further knock when the government on Thursday unveils a budget set to include tax rises.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his finance chief Jeremy Hunt are seeking to bring economic and political stability to the country after months of turmoil.