Lifestyle retailer Joules has made a significant investment in young sports brand Lions Rampant, enabling the brand to plot its first standalone store.

Lions Rampant founder Richard Hurtley would not reveal the size of the investment but said: “It is enough to facilitate us growing fast.”

He said the brand will have an “operational” relationship with Joules although they will remain autonomous businesses.

“We are a separate entity but we will work together if we can use our size to get a better deal, or Joules can help us get a foot in the door,” he said.

A mentoring scheme has been introduced so Lions Rampant can learn from Joules’ experience in building a brand and retail network.

Lions Rampant, which sells online and through 16 stockists including department store Bentals, is planning to open its first shop in March although Hurtley would not confirm its location. Hurtley is scouting for suitable sites in market and university towns in the southeast and southwest of England, and will open a total of three in the next year. He hopes to have “10-plus” in the next three years. Lions Rampant is also relaunching its transactional website next year with more focus on interactive, lifestyle content.