About 1,600 jobs could be at risk with clothing group Joules set to become the latest victim of the tough times hitting the retail sector. The Leicestershire-based company, which has 132 shops, said it intended to appoint administrators after failing to secure emergency investment. Joules said last week that recent sales had been weaker than expected.
Many retailers have been struggling as consumers cut spending in the face of the soaring cost of living. Last week, furniture retailer Made.com fell into administration, leading to hundreds of job losses, with High Street giant Next buying Made's brand name, website and intellectual property.
Next had been in talks with Joules during the summer over taking a stake in the company, but these discussions ended in September. Joules was founded by Tom Joule, and started out selling clothes at country shows in 1989.
Joule said in a statement: "Today is a deeply disappointing day for Joules, and a sad day for me personally."