LONDON — Steven Ross wants all men to have access to quality grooming products at entry-level prices, which is why he founded Johnny’s Chop Shop, and why he’s taken it to America in a deal with Walmart.
Johnny’s Chop Shop started as a barbershop in the men’s department at Topshop in Oxford Circus. Ross said the customers had a “cool” aesthetic while the staff were passionate about men’s grooming. Ross founded the brand in 2015, seeking to offer barbers’ favorite products, and even hired barbers to work on product development to fine tune everything to professional standards.
“We were lucky to have some of the ‘cooler’ London barbers come and work for us, so on the back of that, we thought it was time to start developing a range of products. Our niche is that everything we have curated and put together in terms of the products come from the barbers themselves,” Ross said.
The range is paraben-free with natural ingredients such as beeswax, black paper and sage leaf, yet what attracts the customer most, according to Ross, is the male-targeted packaging.
“There are products like hairspray and male dry shampoo, which we were the first to put on the marketplace for men, and which are typically women-friendly, but our packaging is edgy and fun. Everything we do is design-led for our target audience, which is 16- to 30-year-olds,” he said.
Ross said it was key for him to offer entry-level price points. “If you were to go to a barber, the price of a cut is around 16 pounds. Some brands retail their clays for about 14 pounds, which is quite a big spend in comparison. We wanted to price it competitively,” he said adding that the products all retail for around 7 pounds.
Johnny’s Chop Shop launched in the U.S. last week, across 3,500 Walmart stores. The brand is offering seven of its bestsellers including the Sports & Social Fibre, and Wild Cat Hair Clay.
The brand is already stocked across 21 countries and, according to Ross, is the third best-selling men’s product in Boots after Gillette and Boots No7 in the UAE region.
“Our turnover has increased 50 percent per annum since our launch and, this year, we will sell more than a million units, through retail, across the board,” said Ross, adding that over the last year a selection of best-selling products has gone out to further 1,500 Boots stores in the U.K.
The brand has already witnessed growth across the EMEA, Russia and the U.K., and following its foray into the U.S., Ross expects the brand to have a global retail value of more than 10 million pounds by the end of 2019.
In line with the U.S. expansion and in the coming months, Ross also plans to open a Johnny’s Chop Shop barbershop in Williamsburg next door to Supreme, which Ross says is exactly the intended audience for the brand.