Joules in talks on growth plan

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The Independent Online

Joules, the 41-store fashion retailer, has kicked off talks with advisers at an accountancy firm to explore its options to grow the business.

The chain – which sells men's, women's and children's clothing to Middle England – is in early-stage talks with Deloitte's corporate finance team about a range of strategies, including raising funds to drive forward its expansion plans. While sources said "Deloitte was preparing the business for a sale process", it is thought the retailer's founder Tom Joule is more likely to pursue the additional funding option. Joules last month made a number of board-level appointments, including hiring Louise Barnes, the former chief executive of Fat Face, as chairman.

Joules delivered pre-tax profits of £2.48m, on sales of £46.6m for the 16 months to 31 May 2009. Its profits are thought to have improved further since then. Joules and Deloitte declined to comment.