Christmas trading results at lifestyle clothing brand Joules were “significantly behind expectations” due to stock availability issues.
In a trading update, the retailer said sales over the seven-week period to 5 January 2020 had decreased by 4.5% against the prior year.
The brand blamed the disappointing sales performance on an “internally generated stock availability issue through the important end of season sale event”. It added the cause of the shortage had now been addressed.
Joules said it had taken strategic decisions in relation to its supply chain operations, including establishing an outsourcing partnership with a logistics firm to enhance its UK logistics operation and transitioning its US distribution centre to a new partner.
“These initiatives will incur incremental non-recurring costs during the transition phase but are expected to deliver significant cost benefits from the end of full-year 2021 onwards,” it said.
Nick Jones, CEO at Joules, said: “We are disappointed with our inability to fully satisfy our customers' demand through our online channel during the important Christmas sale period. We have identified the root cause of this one-off issue and have taken steps to prevent its reoccurrence.
“We remain focused on continuing to expand the Joules brand and are making significant enhancements to our supply chain operations in the UK and US to deliver both future capacity growth and efficiency.”
The brand said it predicted second-half cost headwinds as a result of US-China tariffs, which it expected to continue into next year.
Last week, retailer Marks and Spencer announced its results over Christmas had been impacted by food waste and buying decisions in menswear.
Chief executive Steve Rowe said the retailer’s supply chain “requires improvement”.
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