Joules has announced that sales over the Christmas period were “significantly behind expectations”, with retail sales down 4.5% against the prior year.
The fashion retailer claims that sales were affected by “disappointing” online sales, which was caused by internally generated stock availability issues.
Despite traffic to its website increasing 8% in the seven weeks ended 5 January, conversion was “significantly down” due to its stock issues.
The group now believes that its full year profit-before-tax will be “significantly below market expectations”.
The poor Christmas sales follow the “strong sales performance” delivered over the Black Friday trading period, and Joules said it performed “in line with the board’s expectations during the first half of the financial year”.
CEO Nick Jones said: “We are disappointed with our inability to fully satisfy our customers’ demand through our online channel during the important Christmas sale period.
“We have identified the root cause of this one-off issue and have taken steps to prevent its reoccurrence.”
He added: “Demand for the Joules brand and its unique products remains strong, with continued growth in total customer numbers and website traffic as well as robust results in our stores and partner retail channels.
“We remain focussed on continuing to expand the Joules brand and are making significant enhancements to our supply chain operations in the UK and US to deliver both future capacity growth and efficiency.”
Joules will announce its interim results on 21 January.