The Australian arm of a high-end hairdressing chain from France has snapped up several stores that were previously owned by a group that plunged into liquidation late last year.
Franck Provost Paris Australia has bought eight shopfronts previously belonging to Evolve Salons for an undisclosed amount.
Evolve Salons collapsed in November last year after raising more than $8 million from investors and growing its network to 53 stores.
At the time liquidators were appointed, Evolve Salons had just three outlets still trading and less than $4 in one of its bank accounts.
Jean-Fancois Carre, the head of Franck Provost Paris Australia, told SmartCompany the eight salons caught his eye because they were in good locations.
“We thought they definitely had potential,” Carre says.
“We are not exactly sure why the Evolve Group failed, maybe because they acquired too many salons too quickly. But we are confident the ones we are taking over are in good locations. So we think it’s a good fit and an opportunity to welcome them to the network.”
Carre hopes the new salons will soon turnover around $15,000 a week. Three of the salons are located in Queensland, with the remaining five in New South Wales.
The Australian operations of Franck Provost Paris currently turns over around $11 million annually, but Carre hopes to grow that figure to $15 million in the coming months.
“It will be a challenge,” he says.
“When we arrived, everything had disappeared [from the eight stores] – all the products and electrical appliances, including the computers. So we want to welcome back as many of the former team members and guests as possible.”
Carre says taking over the eight additional stores is part of Franck Provost Paris’ broader expansion plans in Australia.
The long-term goal is for there to be 50 Franck Provost Paris stores across Australia.
“It [hairdressing] is an industry that is very fragmented, which is one of the reasons we thought there would be something to do here because there would be room for brands such as Franck Provost to consolidate,” Carre says.
“Even in France, where you have quite a few brands, they still represent 10% or 20% of the market maximum. In terms of high-end brands here, we have maybe 35 or 40 salons in Australia.
“Apart from that, there isn’t much of a premium brand in the market.”