Salons need a little rejuvenation too, whether that’s enhancing the consumer journey or investing in their teams. Meet the businesses writing a new chapter…
Seckingtons’ flagship Northampton salon opened in 2009. Eight years later, owner Johnny Seckington took the step to open a second site in nearby Milton Keynes. Coming to a new town, Seckingtons had to start again, creating a new salon family ethos, with education and training of the team at the forefront. “Our salons offer a fabulous guest journey. We really want to build a culture where it’s not just about the hair but the experience,” says Johnny.
So what makes Seckingtons so special?
Joshua Powell, executive art director/technical director
“I do a lot of education in the salon, it’s something I absolutely love. This year I have six courses booked in to learn all about Redken products, colour, techniques, and I’m really looking forward to them. I can’t wait to come back to the salon and show everyone what I’ve learnt. The best thing about working at Seckingtons is the people. We all gel really well together. We do a lot of training and focus to build confidence and keep everyone’s spirits and enthusiasm up.”
Jemma Clemas, senior designer/ senior technician
“Before I became a hairdresser I did a lot of research on the local salons. Seckingtons had loads of five-star reviews, it was always busy and had such a cool, luxe vibe. It’s well known in the area and so naturally that’s where I wanted to be. I was very lucky to be able to do all my training here. The team is like a family. Everyone is so close and it’s an incredible working environment.”
Johnny Seckington, founder
“I’m so proud of what myself and the team have achieved in Northampton and Milton Keynes. When we started there were only three of us but now there are more than 40 members of staff across two salons. We’ve built a culture where it’s not just about the hair but the whole experience is a complete luxury. We decided to introduce Redken because we wanted to offer multiple brands to cater for everyone, plus the colour is incredible. Doing so has created a real buzz within the team as everyone is excited to try something new and learn. ”
Stone Hairdressing, Canterbury
At Stone Hairdressing every appointment is a journey, thanks to the salon’s recent Salon Emotion makeover. “After speaking to Redken about my upcoming refi t I knew a Salon Emotion design would be perfect,” says owner Lea Walters. “I love the idea of a separate consultation area and a community table where clients can relax while their colour develops. I felt it was time for a change and wanted the experience to be unique. The response has been great; the team love it, as do our clients.” Creating space for successful retail sales was also important to Lea, especially when consumers are increasingly turning towards the internet to buy their products. The new salon layout creates an area for these discussions and provides all the information clients need. Change is inevitable – the important thing is to embrace it and help your salon grow, rather than fight it. “Clients want more for their money and have higher expectations than they had 20 years ago,” she adds. “The challenge now is to keep the salon evolving.”
Investing in a refit can seem like a daunting prospect for an established salon. What if clients hate it? What if the team hates it? What if everyone hates it? After seeing her son Billy Fry launch a new salon, Pauline Howe decided it was time to give her long-running salons a facelift. “Seeing my son’s new salon made me realise just how sad and tired mine were,” admits Pauline. Strands creative director Danielle Carrier put together a mood board full of gorgeous ideas. “We went through everything and I completely fell in love with the plans,” says Pauline. “She combined comfortable and quirky – I would never have thought of the design or been brave enough to suggest the colours she chose. Clients have been blown away and it’s been such a positive way to start the new decade.” Retail can be difficult for lots of salons, and Pauline admits she’s constantly pushing. “Redken supports us with training and once a week we dedicate a morning to education when our Redken Business Partner visits. It’s made a massive difference.”
The business that barbers built
“We’ve gone from three barber shops to 34 within two years,” enthuses Darran Gould, co-owner of family-run business, Gould Barbers.
A year after launching their flagship salon and academy in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, Darran and his brother Leigh were approached by Tesco with a plan to take their name across the country. “In 2017 we opened seven barber shops in Tesco stores in 10 weeks,” says Darran. “It was crazy but fantastic. The following year we had a goal of opening 13 in 13 weeks, which we smashed.”
Such rapid expansion was possible thanks to the partnership with the supermarket giant, but the space is only one aspect of the equation. It’s a testament to Goulds’ fantastic training and stellar reputation that it has been able to attract talented staff to fill and run the shops, proof that a strong concept with clear business principles is a winning formula.
“It’s been hard work but we’ve learnt a lot along the way,” says Darran. “We had to be completely disciplined about what each site was going to look like and plan our time to oversee the development. That meant having trusted members of the team to run the shops while we were away.”
Goulds can now be found in 33 large Tesco Extras and Superstores, which means they are accessible to everyone – something Darran and the team pride themselves on. “It’s so important to be able to cater for all different types of people. I think that’s why the demand to have a barber shop in supermarkets has exploded. Lots of people are time-poor so if they can grab something to eat on their lunch break, and get a quick trim at the same place it makes sense. There’s a constant footfall and it’s never quiet.”
Darran and Leigh are clearly no strangers to choosing partners that strengthen their brand, which is why they chose to stock Redken Brews: “We felt Redken Brews complements our shop beautifully, in terms of aesthetics and being a complete, compact male grooming range.”