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Oct 4, 2018
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Arch Angelz crashes, beauty bar firm has Debenhams concessions

Oct 4, 2018

Beauty may be the big UK retail success story at the moment and Debenhams may be pouring extra resources into the area, but that doesn’t mean everyone operating in the sector will come out a winner.

Beauty bars are seen as a key retail concept but not all will survive

Arch Angelz, which has been operating 31 concessions inside Debenhams stores, has gone into administration after the continuing drop in footfall on the UK high street meant it had fewer customers queuing up for its services.

The 10-year-old company employed 120 people and was based in Swansea.

Corporate recovery and business advisory firm Quantuma has been appointed to handle the administration and observers said it’s not expected to be the last lifestyle-linked failure this year.

The company had been trying to raise extra funding but had failed to do so and all of the 120 employees will now be made redundant.

Quantuma’s Graham Randall highlighted the “significant decline in the UK retail sector over the last 12 months [that] has adversely impacted turnover of Arch Angelz.” He said the firm ran into financial difficulties earlier this year.

It’s worrying news for both the beauty and department stores sector. The beauty bar concept had been seen as one of the future stars of the beauty category. Although it’s unclear from this company failure whether it was the individual firm or the concept that was the issue, lower footfall is clearly a challenge for this type of business. 

Debenhams has itself invested in Blow Ltd, which operates beauty bars in stores as well. But importantly, that business also visits consumers’ homes to offer its services, deftly removing the problem of lower store visitor traffic.

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