// Next has bought Joules out of administration
// The retail giant teamed up with Joules founder Tom Joule to snap up the collapsed retailer
Next has bought collapsed fashion retailer Joules out of administration for £34 million.
The retailer has teamed up with Joules founder Tom Joule for the deal, which will see it take 100 stores, saving almost 1,500 jobs across stores and head office.
Next will own 74% of the retailer, with the remaining 26% held by Joule.
The retail giant has also acquired Joules’ Market Harborough head office for £7 million in cash.
Nineteen stores are not part of the transaction and will be closed, with 133 redundancies.
Next, which had been in talks to take a 25% stake in Joules earlier this autumn, is understood to have edged out TFG, the owner of Phase Eight and Whistles, to snap up the lifestyle retailer.
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Joules collapsed into administration two weeks ago, calling in Interpath Advisory.
Next said that Joules will retain its “management autonomy and creative independence”. It plans to migrate the brand onto its Next Total Platform, which will see Next operate its online and warehousing operation.
Joule, who recently stepped back into an executive role as product director of the business he founded, will take the lead in “re-establishing the clear identity of both brand and product that has been at the heart of Joules’ success over the last 30 years”, according to Next.
Meanwhile, Jonathon Brown, the ex-John Lewis director who was hired as CEO earlier this year, will remain in post.
Joule said: “I’m so pleased that we have been able to strike a deal that protects the future of the company for all its loyal customers, its employees and also for the town of Market Harborough, which have been so central to Joules’ success.”
Joule said that after three years away from the operational side of the business he was looking forward to “inspiring teams with clear direction to excite and recapture the imagination of the customer again”.
He added: “Our customers have always trusted us to lead, not follow, with products that reflect their lifestyle.
“It’s important that we live up to the high standards they desire in design, quality and, with Next’s Total Platform delivery and customer support proposition, the service they expect.”
Next chief executive Lord Wolfson said: “We are excited to see what can be achieved through the combination of Joules’ exceptional product, marketing and brand building skills with Next’s Total Platform infrastructure.”
Next’s acquisition comes just weeks after it snapped up Made.com’s IP, following the furniture retailer’s collapse last month.