Aussie Make-up Mogul Napoleon Perdis' Empire Collapses Putting Hundreds Of Jobs At Risk

The home-grown cosmetics brand Napoleon Perdis -- named after its founder -- has gone into voluntary administration.

UPDATE: Napoleon Perdis, the owner of the brand, spoke to The Project on Thursday evening, and said his company was struggling to compete with multi-brand retailers.

The arrival of Sephora in the Australian market has been particularly detrimental to his company.

“We’re definitely not Sephora. Sephora is a multi-brand retailer that competes with Myer, David Jones and all the other multi-brand retailers," Perdis said.

"At the moment retail is suffering a little bit of a downturn, there’s less foot traffic, e-commerce is up, the customer is shopping different, wants different experiences."

Perdis said he had brought in an administrator to "assess" the brand's financial role, and how the brand can continue to grow.

"We have an enormous number of stores and I appointed an administrator today to assess our financial situation and meet all our obligations," he said.

“Our main priority is to look after our staff, to look after our customers and to keep producing wonderful products.”

The brand 'Napoleon Perdis' will either be sold off or closed, putting hundreds of workers' roles in jeopardy.

The company, which has 76 stores across Australia including 23 concession outlets inside Myer stores, appointed voluntary administrators from Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants on the morning of January 31.

The company has since released a statement, saying that the directors have been trying to sell the business for "several months."

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Perdis with his daughter Lianna at the 2017 Prix de Marie Claire Awards in Sydney. Image: Getty.

"The current plan for the administration process is to see whether the business can be restructured through the process or a buyer is found while the business continues to trade," the statement read.

Perdis said in the statement, "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,"

My family and I are 100 percent 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.

He went on to say that the NP staffers' "unwavering contribution" will undoubtedly pave the way for the successful and strategic trade on. He asked customers, suppliers and other interested parties to continue to support the brand.

As per the statement, stores will continue to trade as usual and Worrells will "undertake daily assessments of the stores throughout the administration process."

It was noted that the stores will close for stocktake on January 31 and reopen on February 1 -- with an expected sale campaign occurring.

The news comes after several years of financial woes, with the company operating at a $1.6 million loss in 2014 and a $154,808 loss in 2015 according to corporate documents.

The arrival of global cosmetics mega-store Sephora in Australia in late 2014 is suspected to have been the death knell for the Napoleon Perdis brand.

The business was owned by the high-profile Mr Perdis, his wife Soula-Marie and his brother Emanuel. The 54-year-old make-up artist opened his first Napoleon Perdis store in Sydney's Paddington in 1995.

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Within a decade the NP brand had cracked the US market, being stocked in high-end department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Niemen Marcus and Nordstrom.

In 2015, Perdis -- who is now based in Athens with his wife -- pulled the plug and retreated from the States after being unable to turn a profit.

Since August 2018 the Napoleon Perdis Group has had an exclusive agreement with Priceline, which has -- according to the brand's statement --  "vouched its support of the business during the administration process."

Feature image: Getty.