British clothing retailer Joules has booked better than expected revenues thanks to strong e-commerce sales, and says it is on-track to deliver on its expectations for the year end.

In a trading update today (5 November) for the first 22 weeks of its financial year to 31 May 2021, the retailer said encouraging trends have continued since its update last month, with sales ahead of expectations.

This has been driven by strong year-on-year e-commerce growth of 35%, with e-commerce revenue accounting for 70% of the group’s retail sales in the period.

Joules’ stores performed ahead of the board’s expectations, with sales since the re-opening of its stores in July down by 18% year-on-year. The group’s wholesale and international sales have performed in-line with expectations, it added.

Despite the significant levels of uncertainty entering the critical peak trading season, Joules says it remains on track to deliver its expectations for the FY21 financial year.

“Joules has continued to trade well with sales in the financial year to date ahead of the board’s expectations,” says CEO Nick Jones. “We have seen strong growth in our customer base during recent months, benefiting from our focus on digital marketing, the attractive locations of our stores and the increasingly broad customer offer through our Friends of Joules digital marketplace.

“As we enter the peak trading season, the retail sector in England faces the challenge of having to close non-essential stores for the next four weeks. Despite this difficult backdrop, Joules has a very strong brand and a flexible business model, which has underpinned the Group’s robust performance to date during Covid-19. In addition, we are well positioned from an operations and financial perspective, having built on the experience and lessons from the spring lockdown.”