The curse of the wrong type of weather has struck again, with Joules saying that sales of jumpers, coats and wellies have disappointed because the past few months have been relatively mild.
This is disastrous for Joules because it was already struggling and needs every possible penny hitting its tills to help put the business back on track.
AJ Bell’s Russ Mould said: “Discussions to raise more money are ongoing and founder Tom Joule is seen as a potential saviour on this front. This puts the entrepreneur in a difficult situation – does he hand over yet more cash to keep the ailing business from collapsing, or does he stand aside and hope that his creation finds an alternative way of staying afloat without him risking more money?
“The fact Next pulled out of investment talks in September with the retailer would suggest Joules could unwind as easily as a cat pulling yarns from a woolly jumper. The clock is almost certainly ticking with regards to getting more cash through debt or an equity investment.
“Next might have taken a page out of Mike Ashley’s playbook – wait in the wings in case the target goes into administration and then pick up the brand on the cheap. This strategy would mean Next doesn’t have to bother with the operating business and its associated problems.”