Fashion retailer Joules has collapsed into administration just days after talks over financing broke down, putting 1,600 jobs at risk.

Joules at Grand Central Birmingham

Administrators want to keep Joules’ 132 stores open during the golden quarter

In a note to the City published on Wednesday afternoon, the embattled fashion retailer announced that Will Wright, Ryan Grant and Chris Pole from Interpath Advisory had been appointed as co-administrators. 

Wright said it would be vital to keep Joules’ 132-strong UK store estate and website open and trading during the crucial festive period and said since the notice to appoint administrators was filed on Monday, several interested parties had emerged. 

Wright, who is head of restructuring at Interpath Advisory, said: “Joules is one of the most recognisable names on the high street, with a unique brand identity and loyal customer base.

“Over the coming weeks, we will endeavour to continue to operate all stores as a going concern during this vitally important Christmas trading period, while we assess options for the group, including a possible sale.

“Since the group’s announcement on Monday, we have had an overwhelming amount of interest from interested parties. We will be working hard over the days ahead to assess this interest but at this stage, we are optimistic that we will be able to secure a future for this great British brand.”

The appointment of administrators is the denouement of a torrid period for the once perennially growing fashion brand. 

Its shares were suspended from trading on November 7 and the board tried but failed to find buyers. Founder and product director Tom Joule had also been in talks to secure a cash lifeline after entering “advanced discussions with a number of strategic investors”, though this came to nothing. 

The retailer was previously in discussions with Next about the purchase of a sizable equity stake but the high street giant pulled out of talks in September.

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