Joules has started a consultation over potential job losses after new owner Next said it was looking to ramp up its transition plans.

Joules was acquired by Next after the fashion retailer went into administration in December last year. The deal gave Next a 74% stake in the business with the remaining 26% with Joules founder Tom Joule.

Joules’ workforce of 1,450 at 100 stores was secured as a part of the £34m deal, although with the closure of 19 stores. 

Since the acquisition, Next told its shareholders it has made “significant progress” and is five months ahead of schedule as it gets ready to transfer Joules’ online operation to its Total Platform logistics system in October this year. 

In a statement, Next said “a number of tasks performed by Joules personnel will be absorbed into Next teams or no longer be needed” as it looks to save costs.  

“Where roles are no longer required, Next will be working with those affected to ensure they are considered for any suitable vacancies at Next, whose head office is located close to Joules’ headquarters in Market Harborough.”