People are used to having shopping, food and drink delivered to their doorstep but barber Niall Coles is taking convenience to the next level with a Deliveroo-style mobile barber’s shop.
The 26-year-old is cutting hair in a custom-converted van, complete with a salon-quality chair, bespoke lighting and even a refreshments fridge, that pulls up outside homes, offices, pubs and even care homes in and around Salisbury.
“People really like it because it is convenient,” said Niall. “They don’t have to waste their
evenings and weekends driving into town and trying to park, I can just pull up in their street or their place of work in their lunch break or after work.”
Customers book their visit via an app which asks for their location and type of haircut. It works out the barber’s travelling time and comes up with a suggested booking, which can be amended, as can the price.
“It’s becoming really popular with people living out in the villages where there isn’t a barber. The other day I was in Broad Chalke and I did eight cuts,” said Mr Coles, who works within a 10-mile radius of Salisbury but can travel a bit further if there are enough bookings in a particular area.
Using a purpose-built van rather than someone’s kitchen or living room results in a better haircut, he said. “When you go to someone’s house you might not have the right lighting, you don’t have enough room and the chair is not always the correct height, which can make it difficult,” said Mr Coles. “The van gives you consistency because everything is set up perfectly.”
Although his customers are predominantly younger and prefer skin fades and beard trims, he regularly cuts older customers’ hair and has recently taken the van to a care home. “It was quite heart-warming because a lot of the gentlemen living there don’t see many people outside,” he said. “It was lovely for them to come out and chat with different people. I’d love to do more of that.”
He has been to a wedding venue to cut the groom’s and his ushers’ hair, attended offices and is open to bookings for events, festivals or even markets. Haircuts cost around £5 more than comparable trims in a regular salon.
He said: “A few years ago you’d never dream that people would be happy to pay extra for a coffee and a sandwich to be delivered to their house rather than walk in and get it themselves but it’s all changing and this is just the next step. Our customers are really happy to pay extra for that little bit of convenience and I think that’s the way forward.”
His face is familiar in Salisbury after spending six years at Marks & Spencer, working his way up from Saturday boy to assistant manager. “I loved it there and I learned a lot about customer service,” he said.
For more details about booking, visit grade92.co.uk