LONDON — Barbershop brand Sharps is tuning in to a U.K. audience.
This story first appeared in the April 18, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The New York-based men’s grooming line, which opened its debut barbershop, dubbed Sharps Barber and Shop, in November here, plans to also open two spaces in the U.K. capital as well as a door in New York by yearend.
“The brand planned to offer high-quality barber services and that coincided with the desire to introduce Sharps to the U.K.,” said Penny Brewer, Sharps’ U.K. marketing manager, noting that the London shop is the brand’s first foray outside of its domestic market. “It seemed perfect to address and combine the two goals at the same time.”
The five-year-old brand’s grooming products are sold through barbershops and department and specialty stores in the U.S. Sharps’ first barbershop is located on Charlotte Street, just north of Soho, which is one of London’s media hubs. The 430-square-foot space is meant to emulate a man’s living room and blends high-tech elements, such as LCD television screens at each grooming station, with retro touches, such as old-school barbershop chairs. The interior features navy walls, walnut fixtures and chrome shelving units, which house Sharps’ line of grooming products as well as items by other brands, including Blackdice watches, Grenson shoes and a selection of albums. Clients can even pick up a motorcycle for 1,395 pounds, or $2,779 at current exchange, which is displayed in the store’s window.
“We want Sharps Barber and Shop to become a guy’s one-stop shop,” said Brewer, adding that clients are encouraged to relax with a complimentary beer when they visit the store. “We don’t just want to push a daily grooming regime, but a whole lifestyle.” The treatment menu includes wet shaves priced at 31 pounds, or $61.70, and a Full Service treatment, which includes a cut, shave, manicure and pedicure, for 77.50 pounds, or $154.40. Sharps product prices range from 7 pounds, or $13.90, for a 4.5-g. tube of Daily Prep Lip Stuff, to 24 pounds, or $47.60, for a 100-g. jar of Mission Control Bald Head Balm.
Industry sources estimate that the Charlotte Street store will generate turnover in the region of 420,000 pounds, or $832,859, in its first year. Barbershops are also set to open in Westfield London, a shopping mall in West London, and in the Blue Fin Building in the city’s Southbank neighborhood by this fall. Sharps plans to open a door in New York, and increase its retail distribution in the U.S. and Canada from 200 to 300 doors by yearend, Brewer said.