Vancouver-Based The Barbers Celebrates 20 Years - The Columbian

Posted by Arildsen Wilson on June 12th, 2021

Pacific Northwest haircut chain The Barbers is celebrating 20 years in operation this month. The household-owned company began with a single barbershop in east Vancouver specializing in men’s type haircuts and grew to 34 locations across two states. The corporate plans to commemorate the milestone with an all-day anniversary occasion June 1 at the unique location at 1900 N.E. 162nd Ave., providing free food, drinks, music, prizes and half-worth haircuts, in addition to a fund-elevating partnership with the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society. The company was founded by Vancouver residents Alison and Don Lovell, who proceed to operate its shops along with a group of franchise partners. The unique location has been joined by nine more outlets in Clark County, with a number of more in Spokane and the remainder in Oregon. The corporate employs greater than 350 barbers and averages about 2,500 haircuts per 30 days at each store, based on Don Lovell, for a total of just below a million haircuts per year for the entire firm, serving over 750,000 shoppers every year. The Lovells opened the primary retailer in Might 1999, drawing on their in depth experience in the hair industry - Alison as a hairdresser and Don on the sales and operations side. They developed the Barbers concept in response to a pair of business traits on the time: the widespread use of a contracting enterprise mannequin during which individual barbers would primarily rent workstations from salons and barbershops, and the decline of impartial mom-and-pop barbershops, which left men with fewer locations to go for simple haircuts. “Guys have been getting their haircuts at salons,” Alison says. The Lovells saw an opening for a enterprise mannequin that would supply a conventional barbershop experience for men and provide full employment for barbers. They decided to open their first shop as part of the 162nd Place procuring heart, which was beneath development a few miles from their home. It took some work to persuade builder Gramor Growth to take an opportunity on the untested concept of a barbershop for men, Alison says. However the new store shortly took off. The Lovells ended up opening their subsequent few shops in Gramor developments in Battle Floor and other Clark County places. Alison took the lead designing the shop interiors, settling on a wood-and-metal aesthetic with cement floors, open ceilings and a paint and decoration scheme that evoked the feeling of a retro barbershop. They also included old-faculty options like a popcorn machine, free soda and shoulder massages after the haircuts. The design worked well, and the Lovells have stuck with it at subsequent retailers, making only a few changes over the years. TVs have been added at each station, together with a full lineup of sinks instead of just two at the back of the shop. A number of the larger areas also embody a pool desk. The primary shops used refurbished vintage barber chairs, Alison says, however lots of them proved to be too tall for a few of the stylists. So the chain switched to custom trendy chairs with a standardized design. But apart from that, the look and feel of each new Barbers shop hews very close to the mannequin laid out by the unique location. The Barbers tried to give attention to suburban markets in the early years, Don says, because that’s the place they felt the decline of mother-and-pop retailers had created the biggest lack of service. Most of the brand new shops nonetheless intention for the suburbs, although some have also opened in central Portland. The suburban locations give each shop alternatives to grow to be concerned in the encircling neighborhood and take on a “neighborhood barbershop” role, and that’s an aspect the Lovells say they’ve persistently tried to push, with frequent sponsorships and participation in charity events corresponding to a food drive for the Portland Police Bureau’s charitable Sunshine Division. They also take a community method to promoting, Alison says, by printing T-shirts for native youth sports activities teams and different organizations with the Barbers emblem on the back. The Lovells formed their first franchise partnership after 5 years in the business, when their buddies Kim and Barry Spiegelberg provided to begin operating Barbers places in Washington County, Ore. Two extra franchise partners joined in subsequent years: John and Connie Oljar, who focused on the Clackamas County, Ore. Dan Dickau, the previous standout NBA player with numerous local ties who arrange four outlets in Spokane. Hair Salon Vancouver have been already associates with the Lovells, who remained heavily involved in designing the brand new retailers and teaching the enterprise mannequin. The employment mannequin has remained constant at all the shops - the barbers are staff moderately than contractors, with paid vacations, well being care benefits and entry to company-extensive training occasions. However they’re still encouraged to construct their own following of consumers, Don says, and every store’s front counter has enterprise playing cards for every worker. The outcome has been a constant document of employee retention, Don says. He attributes to that retention to the company’s success because it ensures prospects keep coming back to go to their most well-liked barbers. “The greatest problem in our industry is turnover,” Don says. “Barbers are always searching for better money. The growth price has been gradual but regular over the chain’s 20 years. And the Lovells say it’s been constant even in the midst of the recession that began in 2008, which didn’t result in a drop in enterprise. The Lovells say they aren’t actively wanting so as to add more franchise partners. They prefer to maintain the company’s development at a slow and natural rate that allows them to stay carefully involved, evaluating potential new stores on a case-by-case basis. “We don’t have the need to be 500 barbershops,” Alison says. The company has stayed within the household - not only as a result of the franchisees are shut associates, however because Don and Allison’s children, Olivia and Alex, grew up within the haircut trade and are taking on new roles within the Barbers. Alex has his barbers license and Olivia handles the company’s advertising and human assets sides.

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Arildsen Wilson

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Arildsen Wilson
Joined: June 9th, 2021
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