Rocky salon dismayed as make-up king reveals new mega store
LEIGH Webster was one of the first to bring Napoleon Perdis make-up to Rockhampton.
And now she says she is among the last to find out about the franchise's major expansion on the same street as her small business.
After 10 years of stocking the brand at hair and beauty salon Metro Vision, Leigh this week discovered from one of her clients the brand would be opening its own store in Stockland Rockhampton.
Leigh expressed her disappointment with the Australian brand, saying she didn't understand why the small business had been left in the dark after a decade of loyalty.
"I would have liked to be given a heads up at least and maybe even the opportunity to be a part of it," she said.
She explained all her six staff had been thoroughly trained in Napoleon Perdis make-up artistry at her own expense. She is now worried for their imminent future.
"This new concept store could wipe out the whole beauty side of my store," she said.
"The store will be competing directly against me instead of working together."
Leigh posted on Napoleon Perdis' Facebook page, expressing her anger which received hundreds of reactions and comments of support. She said she had so far received no personal response from the company.
"What I'm hoping is just by writing that post they might understand it's not right considering how loyal we have been to the brand," she said.
"They just haven't cared about the small businesses in the town and how it will affect us.
"I'm just so disappointed and want some answers."
Late yesterday afternoon The Morning Bulletin received a call from the man himself, Napoleon Perdis.
Mr Perdis said the addition of the new concept store would grow business for existing retailers and said he was quite surprised by the reaction of the small business.
The make-up giant said the new store would offer more support on the ground in Rockhampton for business programs and further training development as in the past the closest training centre was in Brisbane.
Mr Perdis said he'd never seen a region lose sales from a new store and said the entire flagship would increase when a concept store opened.
"We aren't there to take their customers, we aim to work with the store so that the business can grow," Mr Perdis said.
"Speciality stores can't carry the full range and customers ultimately want that.
"The new store will bring a great focus to the area and also great employment and career paths.
"We are eager to assist stockists in anyway and assist in increasing skills.
"I love every little bit of Australia and every retailer matters to me no matter how small."
Mr Perdis said it was just a matter of adjusting for the small business and he planned to call the salons personally in the next few days.