Beardy types keep barber shops open
You can barely sign into social media without encountering a man sporting an immaculately groomed beard.
The trend for male facial hair has resulted in barbers becoming the fastest-growing shops on the UK high street, bucking the downturn that has seen fashion stores close at a rate of knots.
Barber shops were the fastest-growing retail category in 2018, with 813 units opening. It was a similar story the previous year, when 624 opened and analysts say that numbers this year are already outstripping those levels.
The explosion in the sector is largely because of the trend for male grooming, and specifically beard grooming, experts believe.
Social media is also playing its part, as image-conscious men visit barbers as often as once a week to ensure they are Instagram-ready.Ronald Nyakairu, a senior insight analyst at the Local Data Company, which published the figures, said the boom in business was partly the result of the modern focus on looks.However, he added that compared with other sectors there were few barriers to setting up a barbers and that getting a licence was less stringent than in other European countries.“It’s a relatively simple way of setting up a shop,” he said.“It’s pretty easy for someone who’s come over from Europe and wants to set up a business to open a barber shop.“The market hasn’t yet matured as it has for other sectors.“ If the market was saturated and there were a lot of closures, there would need to be some licensing around it.”Daniel Davies, the general manager of Pall Mall Barbers, said: “People retire, or they’ve had enough of their job and they think they’ll give it a crack,” he said.“There are plenty of barbers but they’re not necessarily all good barbers.”
Mr Davies said men were much more conscious about their looks.
“Back in 2000, a chap would go for a quick snip and be in and out in 15 minutes,” he said.
“But now men want a bit more service and standard, there is more of an expectation, there are a lot more treatments and they go for the experience.
They don’t always need a haircut.
“It’s the male equivalent of a blow dry and I think it’s why a lot of men have beards.”
He added: “In the '90s people went to the pub, but things have progressed and for a lot of chaps a light trim or a shave starts the week off.”
© Telegraph Media Group Limited 2019