Carrie Rengers

‘End of an era’ for BeautyFirst as its last Wichita store closes

What a BeautyFirst representative originally called a consolidation has now turned into another closure. That means the company that used to be based here will no longer have a presence here.

In August, Have You Heard? reported that the east-side BeautyFirst would be closing.

“Basically, our business is stronger on the west side,” said Lee Rogers, vice president of operations, at the time.

He said there’s “not much to it – just your traditional business consolidation.”

Now, though, the west-side store at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize is closing.

“Well, basically, it’s kind of the end of an era,” Rogers says. “It was a wonderful run.”

At one time, the company had more than 30 corporate-owned stores and about 75 franchises. The business was sold several times.

Now, besides the NewMarket store, there are only two corporate BeautyFirst stores left in St. Louis and Albuquerque.

Some of the franchises became independent stores and are still operating.

“Several of those exist,” Rogers says.

Canada-based Beauty Express owns the BeautyFirst brand.

“Basically, it’s evolved into more of a service business as opposed to a beauty retail business,” Rogers says.

“Times change. Businesses change,” he says. “The business model no longer worked for the company the way it once did.”

The 3,500-square-foot NewMarket store is next to Bath & Body Works.

Rogers says its last day in business is Dec. 31.

“We are having an amazing closing sale.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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