Barber brothers to launch 50 more stores in Tesco deal

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

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

Two brothers from King's Lynn will be pinching themselves as they head into 2019, with the news that their barbers shop chain of 19 stores will be launched into a further 50 by March 2020.

Leigh and Darran Gould come from a family of hairdressers, and opened their first outlet in Gaywood in 2013.

In 2016 they opened a unit in a Tesco store in King's Lynn, and within two years had been invited by the supermarket giant to open units in 19 stores across the East and South of England.

'I think the fact we're from sleepy Norfolk is what Tesco found appealing about us,' said Darran Gould.

'Our father was a barber, we're both barbers, we're not businessmen and they really liked that authenticity,' Mr Gould continued.

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'In the last few months we opened 10 stores in 10 weeks, which was actually easier than when we opened seven in the first round with Tesco.

'When we were recruiting, people hadn't heard of the brand so we found it tough,' Mr Gould said.

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The chain, which is now turning over more than £3m, is looking to open new outlets in Scotland and Wales, as well as further north.

'Having barbers in Tesco works so well because men want a 15-minute haircut and can get it done whilst they pick up a sandwich,' he said.

But the brothers do have a formula they believe gives them an edge. 'We open from 6am to 6pm,' said Mr Gould.

'I'm not saying it's the right way to do it, but it's made a big difference for us and is paying off.

'We also have about four to six barbers in each store so there's never too much of a queue,' he continued.

The pair hire self-employed barbers, but have recently launched an academy to bring young talent into the business.

'Around 80% of barbers are self-employed. It's not that we're against it, it's just how our industry works,' he said.

'We're taking about five to seven young barbers every 10 weeks into our apprenticeship school in King's Lynn.

'Usually it'd cost people about £3,000 but ours is free, and then they go out onto the shop floor.'

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