Urban Retreat expands and launches management diploma


Urban Retreat is set to rebrand The London School of Beauty & Make-up's London Esthetique salon as Urban Retreat Smithfields, and also launch a new university diploma following its takeover of the beauty school in February.

Urban Retreat chairman George Hammer initially bought a stake in the beauty school in late 2010 but acquired the majority share in mid-February 2013 and is now rebranding the existing salon, giving Urban Retreat a second site in the capital. Students of the beauty school will be able to gain work experience in the salon once they are fully qualified to perform each treatment on offer there.

Hammer now plans to launch a university diploma in spa and salon management, with the first intake of students scheduled for this September. The group has already drawn up the framework for the six-month course, which will cover business topics such as creating a business plan, understanding profit and loss, setting budgets, visual merchandising, marketing, logistics and managing staff.

Employers across the industry have long bemoaned a lack of business and management skills among potential employees but there is currently only one UK university degree in spa management, which is run by University of Derby, Buxton.

“We are collaborating with University of Derby, so students will be able to get a university diploma after six months from London School of Beauty and Make-up but can also use it to count towards a full spa management degree later if they choose to.” said Hammer. “We want to become the Vidal Sassoon of beauty.”