Lifestyle retailer Joules has appointed investment banking group Rothschild to advise on its growth and investigate the potential sale of a minority stake.

Tom Joule, who founded the company in 1994, is understood to want to accelerate growth but is reluctant to sell out of the business completely, according to the Independent on Sunday.

Joules has 41 UK standalone stores. In the year to May 1, total sales were £51.1m, up from £35m the previous year. Operating profits rose from £2m to £5.2m.

Retail will be a key growth area for Joules going forward, and Joule has previously said the business, known for focusing on market towns, would consider more openings in metropolitan areas.

The appointment of Rothschild follows a number of board level appointments last year, including former Fat Face chief executive Louise Barnes as chairman and Colin Porter as chief operating officer. Porter is a former joint managing director of luxury menswear brand Crombie.

Late last year Joules also invested in sports brand Lions Rampant, which has 16 wholesale stockists and is expected to open its first store this spring.