National beauty retailer Napoleon Perdis has collapsed

Napoleon Perdis

Napoleon Perdis and his wife Soula Marie and daughter Lianna. Source: AAP/Paul Miller.

Beauty business Napolean Perdis has appointed administrators, becoming the second national retailer this month to fall victim to difficult market conditions.

Simon Cathro, Chris Cook and Ivan Glavas of Worrells Solvency Accountants were appointed as administrators of the business on Thursday.

All 56 of the company’s stores will remain closed for stocktake today before re-opening tomorrow as a sale process is undertaken.

The administrators have so far been unable to confirm the number of employees working for the business.

The eponymous brand was started by Australian makeup artist Napoleon Perdis in 1995 with an initial concept store in Sydney which expanded out of a makeup academy.

It grew to international prominence, particularly in the United States, where it traded for over a decade until 2015, when it was forced to pull out of the market.

The troubles continued from there, with Perdis signalling a restructuring last year by closing stores and pulling products out of David Jones in an attempt to right-size the business.

He pivoted to Australian Pharmaceutical Industries’ (API) Priceline business, inking a nationwide distribution deal last year, and was even speaking to potential investors about reentering the US, as well as expanding into Asia.

Priceline has vouched support for the brand through the administration process.

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In a statement released by Worrels on Thursday, Perdis did not delve into the specific circumstances behind the collapse but said the brand is still in “high demand” among customers.

“The brand is still in high demand from our customers and is more innovative than ever, so by restructuring the business in this manner, we believe, puts it in a prime position to continue to evolve through continued trade or in a sale,” the statement reads.

My family and I are 100 per cent committed to achieving the best outcome for all stakeholders. We are fortunate that throughout our business, we have staff and teams who have not only underpinned the business success, but who are our extended family.”

The beauty category has become fiercely competitive amid the entry of international competitors such as Mecca and Sephora.

Last year Priceline was forced to cycle between promotions, some of which wiped up to 50% off, to maintain sales growth, with executive Richard Vincent blaming a decline in comparable sales on price deflation last April.

Worrels will hold a first meeting of creditors in the next eight days.

“We expect the appointment will generate significant interest in the sale of the business. The Napoleon Perdis brand touts pioneer achievements and accolades, which encompasses spearheading industry benchmarks as an educator, trailblazer, and award-winners.”

No store closures have been flagged yet, but Worrels said it would undertake daily assessments of the network throughout the administration.

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