The administrators who saved jobs at a clothing, footwear and garden retail group have instructed CAPA to audit 150 locations where the business traded from.

Interpath Advisory, the corporate restructuring and advisory firm, has appointed CAPA to undertake business rates audits on premises occupied by the Joules Group, after the retailer was rescued via a sale out of administration to a new owner.

The business operated in Oxfordshire, with a turnover of £200mn and more than 1,600 employees, selling its products worldwide via e-commerce platforms, as well as through 122 stores, four concessions and three franchise outlets.

In 2022 the chain posted an operating loss of just over £12mn, due to a challenging retail environment, increased costs of operating the stores, supply chain disruption and decreased margins.

Although the management ran a programme to streamline the business, cut costs and improve profitability, its financial problems continued.

A CVA had been attempted for the business, and funding was sought for a turnaround, but when this plan couldn’t get sufficient support from enough creditors, Ryan Grant and Will Wright, of Interpath, were appointed as administrators of the group in November last year.

The administrators secured a sale of the business out of administration to Next in a detail that saved 1,450 jobs and ensured that 120 stores could stay open.

Interpath also managed a sale of Garden Trading Company – a subsidiary of Joules Group – in another deal that saved a further 50 jobs.

The administrators have now appointed CAPA, a move that will see CAPA’s audit team conduct a forensic audit of rates paid out at all 150 sites occupied by the retailer.

Deploying bespoke software, the auditors will interrogate data to identify any errors or anomalies, before recovering any overpayments on a no-win no-fee basis.