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Debenhams and Blow Ltd deny rift and say they have a strong partnership

Lauretta Roberts
23 July 2018

Debenhams and beauty bar Blow Ltd have issued a statement to say the pair have a "strong partnership" following reports of the weekend that Blow was pulling back on any further spending with Debenhams as it had sought an investment firm to find a buyer.

Blow Ltd, which offers a range of hair and beauty services via its salons and in customers' homes with bookings via its app, partnered with Debenhams last year with a view to opening its beauty bars within the department store's key branches beginning with Oxford Street, Bullring Birmingham and Manchester.

At the time the deal was signed, Debenhams invested £7.5m in Blow Ltd, which was established by venture capitalist Dharmash Mistry and former editor of Elle and Grazia, Fiona McIntosh, in 2013. Debenhams CEO said the deal was "a strategic move which ties into multiple facets of our Debenhams Redesigned strategy".

However the Sunday Times has reported that Blow Ltd has appointed a boutique investment firm to search for a buyer and was holding off on future openings with Debenhams. Both parties say the relationship continues and that planned openings will be going ahead in Meadowhall, Sheffield and Watford later this year. "[We] continue to work together to grow beauty services in Debenhams stores," the businesses said.

It is believed that beauty giants Coty, Estée Lauder, Unilever are all potentially interested in Blow Ltd along with health and beauty retailer Boots. While still at early stage the business is said to carry a value of £50m with Debenhams owning a 20% stake. As well as its bars in Debenhams' stores, Blow Ltd has salons in London's Covent Garden and Canary Wharf.

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