Fashion brand Joules is on the brink of collapsing, putting 1,600 jobs at risk.

It now plans to appoint administrators after failing to obtain a vital cash injection.

The company said it was in talks over an emergency cash call with potential investors including its founder Tom Joule.

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It has also decided to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators “as soon as reasonably practicable”.

Joules added: “The board is taking this action to protect the interests of its creditors.”

As part of the move, Joules Group announced it would stop trading in its shares.

It is the latest UK retailer to struggle as consumers cut back on spending in response to rising living costs.

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Made.com, a furniture retailer, went into administration last week, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs.

Apparel giant Next bought Made’s brand name, website, and intellectual property.

The Leicester-based retail giant had been talking with Joules about getting a share in the firm during the summer, but these negotiations ended in September.

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Tom Joule launched the apparel brand in 1989 and began selling clothing at regional fairs.

Mr. Joule stated that he founded the company with “one man, one tent, and a lot of enthusiasm.”

He spotted a market niche when he realised a demand for colourful apparel in addition to the typical tweeds worn on such occasions.

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The Joules Group also operates the online Garden Trading Company in addition to its stores and online business.

The Leicestershire-based business announced last week that recent trading had been worse than expected.

It said this was mostly due to “the challenging UK economic environment which has negatively impacted consumer confidence and disposable income”.It also stated that the milder-than-expected weather had affected “outerwear, wellies, and knitwear” sales.

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The squeeze on consumer spending, with households facing prices rising at the fastest pace for 40 years, has led to problems across the retail sector.

Marks and Spencer warned this week of a “gathering storm” of rising retail costs and strain on household budgets, noting that “all parts” of retail will be hit.

Joules Group placed its shares on London’s junior stock exchange Aim in 2016 and was valued at £140 million at the time.

Source: BBC

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