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Beauty Brands, based in KC, is closing 25 stores and reducing corporate staff

A brief history of Beauty Brands, founded in Kansas City

Beauty Brands was founded in Kansas City in 1995 and grew to more than 50 stores. But it later faced competition from stores like Ulta.
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Beauty Brands was founded in Kansas City in 1995 and grew to more than 50 stores. But it later faced competition from stores like Ulta.

Kansas City-based Beauty Brands is downsizing.

On Wednesday, the company confirmed plans to close 25 stores over the next few weeks and reduce staff at its headquarters at 4600 Madison St., Suite 400. It has 14 area locations that will remain open.

In a statement, Beauty Brands’ CEO Caryn Lerner said: “This year has proven to be a tough year for our business despite our efforts to combat industry headwinds. Necessary organizational changes are required heading into the new year. Make no mistake, these are difficult decisions which we did not take lightly.”

Six stores will close in Arizona, five in Texas, three each in Indiana and Oklahoma, two each in Colorado, Nebraska and Ohio, and one each in Iowa and North Carolina. Then it will have 33 stores in 10 states.

About a third of the corporate staff will be reduced, leaving about 50 employees.

Bob Bernstein, co-founder of Bernstein-Rein advertising, launched Beauty Brands in 1995. It offered time-starved consumers the convenience of a full-service salon, spa and retail store under one roof. David Bernstein replaced his father as president of Beauty Brands in 2009 when it had 52 stores in 11 states

But by 2014, it was facing increasing competition from such chains as Ulta Beauty. That same year, CEO Bob Bernstein sold majority interest to a private California-based company and Lyn Kirby, former CEO of Ulta, became CEO of Beauty Brands.

A new store concept was rolled out in an Oklahoma store later that year, as well as locations on the Country Club Plaza and Shawnee in 2015. Customers could try out featured products at new interactive stations and more prestige lines were offered. They also introduced out a blowout bar for a quick wash and blow dry, and a brow bar for eyebrow shaping and waxing.

The Beauty Brands locations set to close are:

Arizona: Peoria, Ahwatukee, Paradise Valley, Tucson, San Tan and La Encantada.

Texas: Ft. Worth, Watauga, Tyler, Southlake and Addison.

Colorado: Lone Tree and Aurora.

Indiana: Greenwood, Fishers and Carmel.

Ohio: Columbus and Crocker Park (closing all stores in that market)

Oklahoma: N.W. Oklahoma City, Penn & Memorial, Lawton.

Nebraska: Papillion and Lincoln

Iowa: Davenport

North Carolina: Ballantyne Commons-Charlotte

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