Joules appoints former Compare Market boss and ex John Lewis director as its new chief executive
- Jonathon Brown will join the company in September and will replace Nick Jones
- Brown was omnichannel director at department store John Lewis in the past
- More recently he was the chief executive of Compare the Market
Troubled fashion retailer Joules has appointed the former boss of Compare the Market as its new chief executive.
Jonathon Brown will join the company in September and will replace Nick Jones, who revealed he was stepping down in May.
Brown held various senior roles at retailers in the past, including omnichannel director at department store John Lewis and multichannel director at B&Q owner Kingfisher.
Jonathon Brown joins Joules at a difficult time for the company, which earlier this year warned of the impact of the cost of living crisis on demand
He was also previously chief executive of online fashion retailer MandM Direct and chief operating officer of Photobox Group.
Brown joins Joules at a difficult time for the company, which last month called in advisers at KPMG to help it bolster its finances.
The group has since agreed an extension to its banking facilities with main lender Barclays, although this restricts its ability to pay shareholder dividend payouts.
The cost of living crisis has been hitting demand on the high street, with Joules warning in May of the impact of rising inflation on consumer confidence and hence sales.
It reported waning demand for full-price clothing items, which hit profit margins, and ‘subdued’ demand for home and garden products.
Joules shares have lost over 80 per cent of their value over the past year. They were down 0.6 per cent to 41.75p in morning trade on Monday.
Last week, the company confirmed it was in talks with Next over possibly outsourcing its online operations and logistics to its larger rival.
This could involve Next taking a £15 million stake in the business.
Joules has around 130 stores across the UK and employs more than 1,000 people.
Brown said he was delighted to join Joules ‘at such an important time in its development’ and pledged to return the business to ‘sustainable, profitable growth’.
‘Joules is a very strong brand, with a highly relevant purpose and product proposition,’ he said.
‘The Group’s digitalisation in recent years as well as its increased customer base mean it has very solid foundations for the future.
‘Whilst there have been some headwinds in the past year, I am very excited by the business’ future opportunities.
‘The Group is making strong progress against its clear plans to improve profitability by simplifying the business and optimizing the cost base.’