The Garden Trading Company – a digital retailer of home and garden products inspired by the British countryside and lifestyle trends – has been acquired by Joules, the premium British lifestyle brand in a deal worth up to £12.5m.
Garden Trading designs its own range of distinctive home, garden and outdoor products that it sells through its digital platform direct to consumers and more than 1,000 stockists across the UK. The company has seen rapid growth in its e-commerce revenue over recent years as it has broadened its product range and increased its customer base.
Garden Trading has been a leading seller on the Friends of Joules digital marketplace since Joules launched the marketplace in 2019. The acquisition aims to support Joules’ strategy to grow its customer base, broaden its product offer, strengthen its digital platform, and reinforce its position in the important and fast-growing home, garden & outdoor category.
For the year to 30 November 2020, Garden Trading delivered revenue of £16.8 million, up more than 40% on the prior year, and a profit before tax of £2 million. Online sales grew by 36% in 2020, whilst retail trends suggest an increased spend on homeware, furniture and garden products into 2021.
Joules has said that it intends to continue to develop and grow the Garden Trading brand, and product range, whilst also seeing the opportunity to leverage Garden Trading’s design and sourcing strengths to develop a broader range of Joules-branded home, garden and outdoor products. Garden Trading’s founder and Managing Director, Jon Holloway, will remain with the business until the end of December 2021.
Nick Jones, CEO of Joules, commented: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Garden Trading, which is a fast-growing and highly complementary brand to Joules in the attractive home, garden & outdoor category. The acquisition will help to increase the Joules customer base, broaden our product offering and strengthen our digital platform, which are three of the Group’s key strategic growth pillars.
“The Garden Trading brand shares similar design-led principles to Joules and, as has been demonstrated through its stand-out popularity on the Friends of Joules digital marketplace over the past 15 months, is highly relevant to our customers and their lifestyles.
“Garden Trading has a fantastic team and culture, which is closely aligned to Joules’. I am delighted to welcome Garden Trading’s team to the Joules family and look forward to working with them all over the coming years.”
Jon Holloway, Founder of Garden Trading, commented: “We are delighted to be joining Joules, which is a business and brand I have long admired. Since we started selling through the Friends of Joules digital marketplace more than a year ago it has become increasingly clear how well our products and brand resonate with the Joules customer base. In addition, by working with the Joules team it is clear that we share similar values, culture and customer-centric approach.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues as well as our loyal customers who have helped to develop Garden Trading into the established and popular brand it is today. With the continued dedication of the Garden Trading team alongside the support and infrastructure that Joules offers, I am very confident in the growth opportunities ahead for the Garden Trading brand.”
Top 100 law firm BDB Pitmans which operates from London, Cambridge, Reading and Southampton acted in the sale. John Hutchinson, Corporate Partner at BDB Pitmans, who led the team on the transaction, said: “Most of us have spent more time at home than we would have liked over the last year. The growth of online retail as a result of the pandemic, including home, garden and outdoor, has generated increased market activity in this sector.
“We are delighted to have contributed by facilitating the successful sale of Garden Trading to Joules. The two are closely aligned and share many similarities in terms of their brand, culture and values. We wish them all the success in the future.”
Jon Holloway, on behalf of Garden Trading, commenting on the work of the BDB Pitmans team, said: “John Hutchinson and the team at BDB Pitmans have been exemplary on our transaction, a very calm approach with an incredible work ethic, professionalism and humility. I cannot fault their work. Very impressive.”