Cosmo magazine puts its name to new bar concept

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Glossy women's magazine Cosmopolitan is lending its name to a new branded bar and lifestyle concept which is being rolled out by Branded Leisure.The...

Glossy women's magazine Cosmopolitan is lending its name to a new branded bar and lifestyle concept which is being rolled out by Branded Leisure.

The first Cosmopolitan Spirit bar opens its doors in Manchester this October, followed by a second unit in Cardiff in November.

Aimed primarily at 18 to 35-year-old women, Cosmopolitan Spirit incorporates a bar and food operation alongside a beauty floor offering a range of express treatments including facials and manicures.

Renwick Haddow, finance director for Branded Leisure, said he estimated that 60 per cent of each outlet's turnover would come from the food and beverage operation.

Branded Leisure was established in March 2000 with a view to launching what it calls "a chain of lifestyle centres".

The company approached Hearst, the publishers of Cosmopolitan magazine, to develop the Cosmopolitan Spirit brand in a deal that is initially set to run until 2005.

Sites are also planned for Leeds and Bristol in 2003 and the company is in talks with the British Airport Authorities to secure a stand-alone beauty site at Heathrow Airport. Other cities being targeted are Edinburgh, Birmingham, Newcastle and Nottingham.

Up to 10 Cosmopolitan Spirit cafes are planned. The company will open up to 50 Spirit Spars - stand-alone beauty units.

Franchising specialists have expressed an interest in taking the concept abroad, and America is seen as an ideal market for overseas expansion.

"We have decided to focus on the UK market initially," said finance director Renwick Haddow, formerly of Regent Inns.

"Cosmopolitan magazine is a very strong brand.

"Location is of prime importance to them and they have already rejected some of the suggested sites because of this. What we don't want to do is saturate the market but establish just one Cosmopolitan Spirit in each of our target locations."

The directors of Branded Leisure include David Humphrey, formerly of Whitbread and Regent Inns, and Mr Haddow, who was finance director with Tup Inns.

Mr Haddow says they are confident that the Cosmopolitan Spirit brand will make an important contribution to the evolution of the UK leisure market.

The company floated on Ofex in May, raising £730,000. It is in discussions over further fund-raising, possibly a move to Aim (Alternative Investment Market).

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