NEXT accelerates Joules transition as some jobs cut

Fashion and homewares retailer NEXT has accelerated the Joules transition following its acquisition with a number of jobs no longer needed.

Over the last year NEXT Technology teams have made significant progress in reducing the lead times for the delivery of TOTAL PLATFORM (TP). As a result, the company now believes Joules can launch its TP site much earlier than expected. The launch date, which was proposed for March 2024, is now planned for October 2023.

To date, TOTAL PLATFORM has focussed on providing website, warehousing, distribution, contact centre, online advertising and retail services. The scope of the planned services for Joules will be significantly wider. In addition to existing TP services, Joules will use NEXT systems for product, finance and HR.

NEXT said that Joules will remain an independent company (74% owned by NEXT) with its own Board and management team. However the team, led by founder Tom Joule, will be entirely focused on product, marketing and brand development.

Commenting on the transition, NEXT said: “We had always intended that TOTAL PLATFORM would deliver material cost savings to Joules. Following the decision to deliver much broader services to Joules, we are now planning for those savings to be significantly greater than originally anticipated.  The full benefit of these savings will not be felt until the beginning of 2024 so are unlikely to materially affect the current year’s profit of the NEXT Group.

“As a result of these changes, a number of tasks performed by Joules personnel will be absorbed into NEXT teams or no longer be needed. Joules is in the process of consulting with colleagues to let them know how they will be affected.

“Where roles are no longer required, NEXT will be working with those affected to ensure that they are considered for any suitable vacancies at NEXT, whose Head Office is located close to Joules’ headquarters in Market Harborough. It is anticipated that those remaining with Joules (i.e. the Senior management, Product and Marketing teams) will continue to work from Joules’ existing offices.”

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