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Julian Charles Plans 30 New Stores In The Next 18 Months

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  • Bedding and linen retailer Julian Charles plans to open up to 30 new stores over the next 18 months.
  • All new and existing stores will become ‘Julian Charles Home’ as part of a major rebrand of the business.
  • The move, in the business’ 75th anniversary year, comes as part of a plan to capitalise on the demand for high-quality retail in the wider homewares market.
  • The launch also coincides with the introduction of the company’s new mission to expand beyond its current leadership in bedding and linen to become a recognised and much-loved homewares brand.

Julian Charles, the leading bedding and linen retailer, has today announced plans to open up to 30 stores and concessions across the country over the next 18 months, as it targets revenue growth following the success of its recent turnaround strategy.

Julian Charles currently operates from 75 locations and the expansion plans could see that number rise to over 100, with the business looking for additional concessions in allied retailers as well as standalone stores in market towns, where the business believes there is still a significant appetite for high-quality physical retail.

The announcement to grow explosively on the high street also goes hand-in-hand with the rebranding of the business from ‘Julian Charles’ to ‘Julian Charles Home’, as the retailer seeks to expand beyond its leadership in bedding and linen and stake out territory in the wider homewares market.

In line with this expansion into broader homewares, over the last year, the retailer has introduced artificial flowers, practical kitchen accessories, and artisanal candles and scents into its stores. Julian Charles is planning to introduce further product ranges into its new and existing locations over the next year.

These ambitious expansion plans have been announced as the retailer goes into its 75th anniversary year. This marks a new phase in the recent history of the business – as it seeks to go beyond its successful turnaround and pivot toward targeting stable, sustainable growth.

The retailer’s overall growth strategy is focused on retaining its loyal long-term customer base while also introducing the brand to a new, wider set of potential customers, including younger, male, and student customers through new stores, product ranges, and designs.

The announcement follows Julian Charles’ acquisition by SKG Capital, the retail-focused family office, in June 2020. Since acquiring the Manchester-based business, SKG Capital has invested heavily into the brand’s digital offering and are now looking to grow their high street presence.

Prior to the acquisition, Julian Charles was running at a £2.1m loss. In the latest financial accounts, the retailer has been taken to a break-even position and continues to grow. Additionally, following the period of investment, online sales have increased by 30% year-on-year and now account for 20% of total sales.

Simon Peck, Managing Director at Julian Charles, said: “Following an excellent 18 months for the business, and having already revamped our online offering and extended our product range, we are now moving into the growth stage of our strategy. This involves increasing the number of Julian Charles locations across the country and using the successes of the past year as a springboard for the next.”

Neil Taylor, Partner at SKG Capital, said: “When we bought Julian Charles, the business had the solid foundation of a respected high-end brand with a strong customer base. We saw the opportunity to build on the brand’s leadership in bedding and linen to create a distinctive player in the wider homewares sector.”

Home furnishings brand Julian Charles started in 1947 as a small Lancashire textile business called Rectella Limited, growing into one of the largest manufacturers of home textiles in the UK and developing its retail arm under the Julian Charles brand.

Source : Julian Charles

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28 March 2022

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