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Booked a haircut this week? There’s a chance the salon will be closed when you get there.
No phone call to explain. Not even a sign in the window.
One of Australia’s largest hairdressing franchises which has 53 salons nationwide is heading into liquidation after its board walked out.
More than 300 hairdressers and some beauty therapists in News South Wales, Victoria and Queensland are facing the chop, with many salons closed this week and other staff choosing to work without knowing if they’ll be paid.
Evolve Salons, which owns a host of businesses that operate under many different names, has run into millions of dollars of debt.
Its aggressive growth strategy last year saw it buy many previously-profitable salons, including the trendy Melbourne-based chain Mieka Hairdressing and the award-winning Lattouf Hair & Day Spas in Sydney.
However, Evolve came undone by a failed attempt to list on the stock exchange.
Product suppliers blitzed all the salons this week to take back their shampoos and other products before administrators seized them. Locks were then changed and staff kept out unexpectedly.
Those still working have been told not to explain what has happened to clients or the media, or risk losing whatever entitlements administrators recover.
The company’s accounts have been frozen, so some salons still operating are accepting cash only.
One Melbourne-based hairdresser said staff are devastated and angry at the news. Some hairdressers from overseas are facing deportation because they’ve lost their Australian sponsor, she said.
“We have all been in tears because of the shock and not knowing what will happen,” she said. “Some of my friends are raising children and supporting whole families and can’t afford this. I also feel bad for my clients because they are like my extended family.”
Fairfax Media was unable to contact any of Evolve’s three directors. A site NSW manager did not return calls.
Published 7/11/2015 @ http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/evolve-hairdressing-salons-facing-the-chop-as-company-is-liquidated-20151106-gksc33