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29 May 2014

Beauty Works eyes up expansion backed by £750,000 loans from The North West Fund for Loans Plus

Press Release 29th May 2014

A leading hair extensions supplier whose products are worn by celebrities including Nicole Scherzinger has secured loans valued at £750,000 from The North West Fund for Loans Plus, managed by FW Capital.

Cheadle-based Ecotrade Europe Limited, better known by its trading name Beauty Works, wholesales a range of branded and own-brand extensions to retailers including Next, Lipsy and Claire's Accessories as well as independent retailers and hairdressers.

Beauty Works has enjoyed impressive growth since its launch less than four years ago achieving a 20 fold increase in its sales and recruiting an additional 10 staff. The recent loan has enabled the company to move to a larger 17,000 sq ft distribution centre to cope with increased demand.

Founder Penelope Cheshire now plans to expand its wholesale business in Europe and the US.

"Our customers value our commitment to providing high-quality hair extensions which has helped us become a leading supplier.  We've also developed our own Beauty Works range of accessories.  Hair extensions are a multi-million pound industry and we've identified some significant potential new markets in Europe and the United States.

"The cash injection from The North West Fund for Loans Plus will allow us to accelerate our growth strategy and purchase the stock we need to target these new markets effectively," Cheshire explained.

The market for hair extensions in the UK alone has increased dramatically in the last few years and is now estimated to be worth hundreds of millions annually.

Simon Berry, Senior Investment Executive at FW Capital, said: "Beauty Works is a well-established business operating in a rapidly growing market.  Penelope and her team are hair and beauty experts with a deep understanding of the hair fashion, trends and styles that appeal to their customers.

"Beauty Works supplies an unrivalled product range that includes celebrity ranges as well as its own award-winning Beauty Works brand and is well-placed to expand its wholesale business in Europe and the US with the backing of this loan."

The £45m North West Fund for Loans Plus is managed by FW Capital and can lend between £50,000 and £750,000 to North West businesses. It is part of the wider North West Fund, financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.



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