British fashion and lifestyle brand Joules has named Asda’s Nick Jones as its new chief executive officer, replacing Colin Porter who announced he was retiring before the end of the Group's FY20 financial year.
Set to join Joules before the end of 2019, Jones will work alongside Porter for a “short handover period,” after which time Porter, who announced that he wanted to retire on April 1 after eight years with the brand, will step down, added the retailer.
Jones joins from Asda where he serves as a member of the executive board, responsible for the performance of the grocer’s trading divisions across food, general merchandise and its fashion brand, George.
Ian Filby, non-executive Chairman of Joules, said in a statement: "On behalf of the Board and everyone at Joules, I am thrilled to welcome Nick as our next chief executive. Nick’s extensive retail, brand and strategy credentials, as well as a clear alignment with the Joules values, made him the outstanding candidate for the role.
“Nick will join an exceptional management team and the Board has every confidence in their abilities to lead Joules through the next stages of the Group’s long-term growth and development.”
Commenting on his new role, Jones said:“I am delighted to be joining Joules at such an exciting time in the company’s development. I have long admired Joules for its distinctive brand, its outstanding products and designs, and its connection with its customers.
"Whilst the business and brand has achieved fantastic growth over recent years, I share the Board’s view that there are tremendous growth opportunities ahead, driven, in particular, by further international expansion and online growth.”
Jones added: “I have been impressed by the talent, energy and dedication of the people at Joules that I’ve met so far, and I’m looking forward to working with the wider team to deliver the Group’s growth strategy - building on its strong foundations to further develop Joules as an international lifestyle brand.”
Jones has more than 25 years’ experience in retail, working with two of the UK’s best-known retail brands, Marks and Spencer and Asda. He joined the Marks and Spencer graduate scheme in 1995 working across buying and merchandising, sourcing and investor relations. After 15 years with Marks and Spencer, latterly as director of home, beauty and gifts, he joined Asda in 2011 to run the George clothing brand.
As commercial director of George and general merchandise, Jones was credited with driving innovation and digital transformation across Asda’s clothing and homeware businesses. His leadership mandate was expanded last year to include food as well as clothing and home.
Joules is an international fashion and lifestyle brand, founded by Tom Joule three decades ago, it is available in the UK, USA, Germany, and France, and currently operates 123 stores in the UK and Ireland, an online business and a well-established wholesale business with over 2,000 stockists worldwide, including John Lewis and Nordstrom.
Positioned as an authentic British heritage brand it designs and sells clothing, accessories and homeware for women, men and children, and has a team of in-house artists who hand-draw all of its prints.
Image: courtesy of Joules