Since its launch three years ago, Johnny's Chop Shop has gone from strength to strength, seeing turnover increase by 50 per cent per annum since 2016. And now the men's grooming brand, which is expected to have a global retail value of more than £10 million by the end of the year, is partnering up with U.S. retail giant, Walmart.
BD recently chatted to Johnny's Chop Shop co-founder, Steven Ross, about the brand's success and the new U.S. partnership.
Congratulations on an amazing start to 2019. Please could you tell us a little bit about how the Walmart partnership came about?
It is a very exciting time for Johnny’s as we have seen 50 per cent growth YOY since we launched in Boots in the U.K. three years ago. With regards to the Walmart launch, we are very lucky to be working with a well established distributor of haircare in the U.S. who have embraced our range and have shown many of the major retailers. Walmart recognised that the consumer is now looking for authenticity and for products that have a traceable DNA and Johnny’s gives them that in this category.
How did you ensure the brand stood out to them?
Our products stand out by themselves as each SKU has its own personality and unique design. We also had the opportunity to create our own POS stand which further enhanced the products, and enables them to really pop on shelf.
What's the inspiration behind the brand? How did this develop in your London/Topman years?
The inspiration was that I was offered an opportunity to open a barbers in Topman, Oxford Circus, which is the flagship global store. I felt it had to be relevant and fresh to everything else that was on offer. I was bored of exposed brick and moody Edison light bulbs, and wanted something that was still retro but more playful and fun.
Why do you think your customers have remained loyal to Johnny's Chop Shop over the years?
A combination of being blessed with some of the best barbers in London and our products that they created that are fit for purpose, that coupled with affordable, accessible prices. Our team in the shops love and take pride in their work and as such reflects in the fun atmosphere of the store.
What made you decide to open a barbershop in Williamsburg and how do you think this will benefit the brand?
As a company, the U.S. will be very important to our growth and we wanted to reflect the success of the U.K. by putting the same formula in place. In London our stand alone flagship store is in Marshall Street, in Soho and we are next to some very cool retailers, including Billionaires Boys Club and CP company. Therefore we set about thinking where is the coolest place in the States, which is New York and then what is the coolest place in New York, which is Williamsburg. I spent a lot of time looking at various locations and then by chance found a vacant store next to Supreme which was amazing for us! The store is due to open in July and like the U.K. represents who we are and that we are truly a brand born from a barbershop.
What's your favourite thing about New York and why is it important to have a presence there?
I like the energy and diversity of New York but I especially love the community of Williamsburg, it feels independent and unique. The people, the stores, the bars and restaurants all have personalities and very few of the big brands have moved in which is so refreshing. I feel that Johnny’s has certainly found its American home.
The Johnny's Chop Shop brand listing can be viewed here.