Shares in countryside casual brand Joules (JOUL.L) crashed over 25% on Friday after the company warned profits would be “significantly” worse than expected this year.
Joules, which counts Princess Kate among its fans, said sales were “significantly behind expectations” over the festive period due to issues with its website. Sales fell 4.5% compared to Christmas 2018.
The company said it also faces one-off costs related to supply chain changes and would be hit by US tariffs on Chinese imports.
As a result, underlying profit is set to be “significantly below market expectations,” the company said.
The stock price lost over a quarter of its value in early trade in London, falling to its lowest level in just over three years.
“We are disappointed with our inability to fully satisfy our customers’ demand through our online channel during the important Christmas sale period,” Joules chief executive Nick Jones said. “We have identified the root cause of this one-off issue and have taken steps to prevent its reoccurrence.”
Jones said demand “remains strong” and said the company was “making significant enhancements to our supply chain operations in the UK and US.”
Joules is known for its nautical striped tops, polo shirts, and wellies. Princess Kate was frequently pictured wearing the brand in the mid-2010 and Taylor Swift has also been snapped wearing Joules.
The company’s profit warning underlines the fact retailers had a difficult Christmas. Superdry stock crashed 20% on Friday after it too put out a profit warning. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said this week that 2019 was the first year ever that retail sales fell compared to the prior 12 months.