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The Black Market Barber Company
By bira
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Kevan Carr and Richard Harris – The Black Market Barber Company, Kings Heath, Birmingham

Established in November 2016, The Black Market Barber Company has built a loyal following offering the traditional barber-shop experience with a contemporary feel. Situated on the popular York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, the shop joins a strong roster of independent businesses, making it the perfect place for those looking for something a little different. Bringing more than 30 years of collective experience, co-owners Kevan Carr and Richard Harris wanted to create an environment where customers felt taken care of; offering quality haircuts in a relaxed setting.

We chat to Kevan about life after lockdown…

Q: You’ve just reopened after lockdown, how has trade been so far?

It’s been amazing to welcome back all of our lovely customers who have been desperate for a haircut. Despite it being busy it has felt a little less hectic with the shop being a lot quieter and people not being able to sit and wait.

Q: What changes have you had to make secure and ready for reopening, and how difficult has that been?

We have had to re-fit the shop to maintain social distancing so there has been a lot of work in creating a new cutting room at the back of our shop. We’ve also extended appointment times to ensure we have enough time to clean between customers as well as wearing visors, facemasks, and using hand sanitiser.

Q: Do you think customers were barbers? How did you reassure them?

We have used our social media to keep customers informed of the steps we have taken to keep us all safe ahead of the shop re-opening. But on the whole, there has been more of a sense of relief we are open again after months of waiting and attempted at-home haircuts!

Q: Were there many home haircuts/ overgrown bonces that needed a lot of work?

I’ve actually been pretty impressed with some of our customers’ efforts! The ones that have gone full caveman and left it to grow out have been more of a challenge.

Q: Tell us about some of the initiatives you introduced to retain customer loyalty during Lockdown, such as the opportunity to buy vouchers on social media etc…

The pre-paid vouchers went down really well. We’re really lucky our customers are a very loyal bunch and we have had lots of contact with them during the months of lockdown.

Q: What are your hopes for the business for the future.

Whilst it’s hard to plan ahead at the moment, we want to concentrate on continuing to provide our customers with excellent service, and keeping York Road a place for independent businesses to flourish.

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