Julian Graves wins cash to roll out 50 extra shops

Nuts-to-nougat retailer Julian Graves has received a£4.5 million cash injection to fund a further 50 stores this year. The cash comes hot on the heels of news of a 50 per cent rise in turnover for the year ended this week.

The investment comes from Barclays development and working capital, but the bank has not taken equity in the business, according to Julian Graves chief executive Nick Shutts. He said he already had locations for 28 of the 50 stores and has identified a further 140 sites to add to his 185-strong store chain.

The sites are likely to include around six stores dedicated to the new Julian Graves Experience store format, which is aimed at younger customers.

The first Julian Graves Experience store opened in Edinburgh in December and Shutts said he was still assessing the trial. A second store is due to open at Croydon in South London and will be the first to be refitted as an Experience store. Shutts said he would have a clearer idea on roll-out after seeing the performance of that store, but four sites had already been identified for potential refits.

Julian Graves opened 73 stores last year, and this week revealed turnover up 50 per cent to£27 million for the year ended March 31. Pre-tax profits rose from£1.2 million last year to£1.8 million this year.

Shutts said he was happy with performance. 'We now have a big portfolio of stores we can manage and manipulate,' he said.