What is the return policy of a flagship hair salon?
Saks is being sued by Joel Warren – the co-founder of the Warren-Tricomi celebrity salon chain – for $75 million.
Warren alleges things took a turn for the worse when the department store reneged on a 2017 deal to open a state-of-the-art flagship salon on its 10th floor.
He alleges in court papers that his sleek deal was overlooked when Saks instead pivoted last year to turn his planned space into a new coworking venture.
In 2017, it was announced that Warren would create a new living room concept for several Saks locations – including a sprawling space in its Midtown flagship that would be “flooded with natural light, like a New York penthouse,” reported The Post at the time. .
But Warren alleges in court documents filed Tuesday that Saks’ “subsequent high-profile decision to lease prime space to WeWork” last year is “in gross violation of its existing contractual obligations” to him.
Court documents allege that, “Almost immediately after the execution of the contract with [Warren’s company] SalonCo, Saks embarked on a journey of frustrating the contract and ignoring mutually agreed terms.
The papers claim that before Warren could open his flagship space, “Saks surreptitiously and fraudulently entered into an agreement with WeWork, without SalonCo’s knowledge, to rent the tenth floor to WeWork for use as a coworking space, after SalonCo has already spent over $300,000 on plumbing and building services.
Last year, Saks reportedly partnered with WeWork to create SaksWorks, which would convert part of its retail space to office space, including the 10th floor of its flagship store near Rockefeller Center.
Warren’s lawsuit alleges he also “spent at least three years and more than $100,000 of his personal savings negotiating the contract with Saks, planning and designing the space, and then was promised a $4 loan. millions of dollars”.
He claims that “after Saks and SalonCo entered into the contract, and after SalonCo substantially performed its obligations under the contract, Saks reneged” on various agreements in multiple places.
“Without written notice, Saks excluded SalonCo from the 10th floor of the flagship Fifth Avenue location and instead offered only the seventh floor in violation of contract, although the parties had previously agreed that the space under license for SalonCo would be a 10,000 square foot facility on the 10th floor,” the papers state.
The lawsuit seeks $75 million, plus attorneys’ fees and punitive damages.
This isn’t the first time a hair salon and Saks have tangled: Saks has split from former salon partner John Barrett, who was Hillary Clinton’s personal hairstylist.
In that case, Saks filed an $11 million breach of contract lawsuit against Barrett, which was later settled.
Warren is replaced in the business by Robert J. Hantman of Hantman & Associates.
We have reached out to Saks for comment on the lawsuit.