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Inquiry: Are Barbershops Spearheading the High Street Revival?

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 15:44

Since the economic downturn in '08, many of town centres and high streets have suffered a decline in popularity in favour of online shopping and out-of-town retail.  Could hair salons, and in particular, barbershops be helping to buck the negative trend?

New research from male grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge has suggested that the humble barbershop could be the secret weapon in the fight back to save the high street.  New survey shows that 95% of men still visit the high street to go to their barbershop or hairdresser, with the pub coming a poor second on 76% and the restaurant/coffee shop third on 54%. The gym took fourth spot on 39%, while the bank was fifth on 35%.

From the 2,126 surveyed men living in the UK, the overwhelming majority of 84% cited the rise of online shopping as the reason why they no longer visit their local shopping street, while the lack of available car parking and the convenience of out-of-town supermarkets were two of the other challenges that were identified.

Nick Gibbens, spokesperson for The Bluebeards Revenge, said the findings highlighted how important the barbering and hairdressing industries are to the local economy as well as the communities they serve: “Barbers and hairdressers offer services that you can’t buy online so they have survived the online boom," explains Nick. "The industry is also thriving here in the UK as men spend more money than ever on male grooming services such as wet shaves, haircuts, beard trims and facials.  

“Hair trends are also playing an important role as more guys are visiting their barbers for shorter styles that need regular cutting to keep in shape," he continues. "Looking ahead, with the festive season now upon us, we’re expecting barbershops to be as busy as ever with men spending big to ensure they look dapper for the party season. Barbershops and salons are filling up shops that could potentially be empty so they are proving pivotal in the battle to save the high street and bring men back.”

 Keith Conniford, the CEO/Registrar of the Hair & Barber Council, said that hairdressing salons and barbershops were still the mainstay of the high street and as such played a hugely significant role in the economic prosperity of our towns and cities throughout the UK:“It’s great to see the hairdressing and barbering industry thriving in today’s difficult economic environment but we are keen to raise the professional standards of the industry," he says. "Therefore we encourage all barbers and hairdressers to become state registered so we can properly regulate the sector and ensure good practice is met.”

In Torquay, Devon, Tom Chapman (above left), an award-winning barber has experienced the barbering boom first hand: "We have an ever increasing amount of male custom making its way through our doors as every guy wants their part of the barber boom," he explains. "The standard is risings at a fast rate and top barbers are raising the bar. Along with the barbers skill set their products have also improved, being lucky to work with The Bluebeards Revenge I have seen what goes into the development of these products and they never stand still. With ever improving skills and tools, men’s hair is going to keep on getting better and better."

The email survey sampled 2,126 men between November 27 and December 3; all were aged 20 - 70 and living in the UK.

For more information about The Bluebeards Revenge  CLICK HERE

 Photos: Ria Smallwood for The Bluebeards Revenge

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