November 18, 2022 7.00 pm This story is over 17 months old

Lifeline for Joules: Lincoln neighbours Phase Eight & Hobbs in takeover negotiations

Phase Eight, Hobbs and Whistles are all at the Cornhill, along with Joules

By Local Democracy Reporter

The owner of fashion chains Hobbs, Whistles and Phase Eight, all stores on Lincoln’s redeveloped Cornhill Quarter, could be preparing a bid to save fellow Cornhill shop Joules from administration.

Fashion retailer Joules fell into administration after failing to secure additional funds from potential investors – prompted by quiet sales numbers over a sustained period of time.

Founded by Tom Joule in 1989, the company has 132 shops across the UK, including one at Lincoln’s Cornhill Quarter, but they could be at risk of closure amid administrators being called in.

Joules is now being eyed up by The Foschini Group, a South African retail conglomerate which owns Phase Eight, Hobbs and Whistles, according to Retail Gazette.

It would certainly be a sensible move on the Lincoln scale, with the city’s Joules store currently located just two doors down from Whistles and opposite both Phase Eight and Hobbs at the Cornhill Quarter.

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Sky News has reported that the UK arm of The Foschini Group is examining whether it could take control of Joules following its collapse into administration.

However, it is far from a done deal, with the likes of Next, Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group and Marks & Spencer also expressing interest in the fashion retailer.

Joules stores will remain open throughout this administration process, but some 1,600 jobs are at risk after the news of financial decline for the business.