Fashion retailer returned to its former glory

Fashion retailer returned to its former glory

Family-owned designer clothing and accessories business Jules B has reported a £470,000 profit over six months and has hit every target in a detailed two year business plan after it fell victim to fraud.

The company, founded in 1984 by husband and wife team Julian and Rhona Blades, has seven stores in Newcastle, Yarm and Kendal and a significant online fashion business that contributes almost 70% of its £10m annual turnover, as well as employing almost 100 people.

However, its survival came under threat in 2014 when the business discovered that its then bookkeeper had falsified four years worth of accounts.

Owner Julian said: “Each year the bookkeeper delivered accounts showing healthy profits, so we continued to invest heavily in store refits and building the internet business.”

The company brought in a new financial director who created a new structure for the business and reinstated accurate accounts with HMRC.

They also teamed up with Stephen Clarke from Barclays who worked alongside the Blades family to help return Jules B to its former strength.

Clarke said: “Julian and Rhona had built up a strong North East brand and were determined to ride out the problems they faced.

“We were able to provide support to keep the business going and we’re delighted Jules B is now back on track.”

The Blades also enlised the help of Newcastle-based accountants UNW to both support and advise the business throughout its transition.

“It’s taken a little while but the shift in financial position has been significant and the outlook is a lot more positive,” added Julian.

“It’s fantastic to see the business now very firmly back on its feet and to have assisted with its transformation through a very difficult period.”