Jules B gets six-figure investment to expand etail offer
UK upscale fashion retailer Jules B is developing and growing its online business after securing £250,000 in investment.
Although around 80% of revenues are already internet-based for the northeast England-based womenswear business, founders and owners Julian and Rhona Blades want to increase their digital capacity still further, targeting more International business.
The pair, who also operate five boutiques (two in Newcastle and three in Kendal in the heart of tourist high-spot the Lake District) have secured the investment with the help of NEL Fund Managers and BTG Advisory, tapping into the North East Growth Capital Fund Loan Fund supported by The European Regional Development Fund.
Jules B will use the investment to enhance the business’s online infrastructure and digital marketing, as well as to support process efficiencies and expand product lines, it said.
Five new jobs are expected to be created as a result of the investment, which would take its total to 60 staff.
Julian Blades said: “We’ve come through the pandemic pretty well overall, and with online sales already making up the great majority of our revenues, we’ve been able to keep the business ticking along through the times when our stores have had to be closed.
“Further improving our digital infrastructure and marketing activities will help us [stay] ahead of the competition, while with around 20% of our online sales currently coming from international markets, there’s a lot more potential to realise overseas as well”.
Mike Guellard, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, added: “Julian and Rhona’s… ambition to keep the business moving forward remains as strong as ever and they have a clear strategy for how they’re going to achieve this".
He added: “Whether a business is near the beginning of its growth journey or as well established as the likes of Jules B, the investment capital we can provide can have a huge impact in terms of helping firms realise more of their potential more quickly”.
The independent retailer currently claims to offer collections from more than 180 high-end designers, including Hugo Boss, Armani, Victoria Beckham, Barbour and Vivienne Westwood.
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