'Short back and sides with your weekly shop sir?' King's Lynn barbers land huge Tesco deal

PUBLISHED: 11:43 27 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:45 27 December 2018

The team at Gould Barbers, including centre left and right, Leigh and Darran Gould. Picture: Paul Tibbs.

The team at Gould Barbers, including centre left and right, Leigh and Darran Gould. Picture: Paul Tibbs. <

A barber shop double act that started in our region is set to rake in £5 million after striking a deal with supermarket giant Tesco to open dozens of concessions in its stores.

Brothers Darran and Leigh Gould already operate 19 Gould Barbers outlets in Tesco stores across the country and now have plans in place for another 50 next year.

The brothers previously worked in their father’s barber shop for 20 years before starting their own business opening their first shop in Gaywood in 2001.

In 2016, they partnered with Tesco and entered retail space at their nearby store in King’s Lynn. Since then, a further 12 shops in Tesco stores have opened.

Darran said: “Then we got invited to the Tesco head office where they told us that they’d been looking at the barber concept for a while and would like us to expand.

“And they have lots of space in their stores, in particular Tesco Extra, they are looking to fill.”

As well as operating from Tesco Express and Tesco superstore in King’s Lynn, Gould Barbers has a shop in Downham Market in Norfolk and others across the East of England.

The pair currently employ 100 barbers but with the additional 50 stores it will create 300 to 400 new jobs.

The expansion has been good for the bank balance, too, with revenue rocketing from £500,000 to £3 million last year.

Next year’s target is £5 million.

Darran puts Gould’s success down to not just catering for younger people like many of the new salons that have sprung up.

“We’ve been successful because we’re not the cool and trendy type that’s popped up everywhere that serves you drinks. We cater for everyone, mothers, OAPs, everyone,” he said.

“Also, with Tesco, the opening times and free parking are a huge plus for someone looking for a haircut.”

Tesco, like other supermarket giants and department stores, has been desperately trying to find ways to monetise excess space. One way it can do this is by leasing out extra capacity to other retailers.

Darran added: “Tesco have been very supportive in helping us to develop and grow our business from a small family owned barber shop to a national chain. It has been an incredible journey.”

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