KUBA takes Napoleon Perdis out of Priceline and into David Jones

Napoleon Perdis’ new chief executive officer Henry Lee.

KUBA Investments is making good on its promise to reposition the Napoleon Perdis business it acquired last April – replacing Priceline with David Jones as a key stockist nationally.

The chemist, controlled by ASX-listed Australian Pharmaceutical Industries, previously claimed the makeup was one of its best sellers.

The product will instead this month be launched for sale via the premium retailer, online.

Some David Jones outlets are also expected to be fit out with Napoleon Perdis displays – amongst them Bondi Junction and Miranda in Sydney, and Rundle Mall in the Adelaide CBD.

In Melbourne the stores include Craigieburn, Eastland, Epping, Fountain Gate, Highpoint, Greensborough and Northland.

Napoleon Perdis’ journey to DJs

Established in 1992, in Leichhardt by makeup artist Napoleon Perdis who was operating a small studio, the business had 56 Australian stores when it went into voluntary administration last February.

KUBA – directed by Livia Wang and business partner, ex-Country Road, Mimco and Witchery executive, Henry Lee – had initially intended to reopen a handful.

After moving in with David Jones, that won’t happen.

It was also expected Mr Perdis (who in 2016 ceased supplying products to David Jones in preference for Priceline, and Myer) with his wife, Soula-Marie, would stay on as creative consultants.

That employment agreement is also off the cards; the new owners proposing a global strategy starting with China and the United States (story continues below).

Mr Lee, now Napoleon Perdis’ chief executive officer, said entering a premium setting “is just the start of our journey to reinvigorate our brand both domestically and internationally”.

“Just the start of our journey”: CEO

“This [David Jones move] reinforces our position as Australia’s number one prestige makeup brand and will allow greater accessibility for customers to shop with us.

“Expanding its retail footprint was, and remains, at the forefront of KUBA Investments’ strategy.

“Since its acquisition 15 months ago, Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics has been actively seeking to expand into new sales channels,” the executive said. “This…has paid off, with new sales channels now accounting for 35 per cent of overall sales”.

Mr Lee said the company also intends to extend its range.

“We will continue on our mission to deepen the emotional connection with our customers and to re-establish Napoleon Perdis’ position within the market as a beauty authority.

“The company has and will continue to make big investments into innovation, brand development and marketing in order to continue sales growth and ultimately retail expansion both locally and internationally”.

Ms Wang, previously reported as a “Daigou Queen” has built a successful business marketing to Chinese personal shoppers.

Last year, the Access Corporate Group chief executive officer and her husband, Sean Yao, paid $7.5m for an Alex Popov-designed Mosman mansion from welding supplies wholesaler Chris Neville.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.