Banbury barber shop launches discount promotional to draw customers during COVID recession

A Banbury barber shop is launching a new discount promotional in an effort to draw customers into the shop.

Gilly Carter stands outside her High Street barber shop, The Men's Room
Gilly Carter stands outside her High Street barber shop, The Men's Room

The Men's Room barber shop in the town centre will now be reducing all gentlemen's haircuts from £15 to £10 as part of the promotion.

The promotional starts tomorrow, Wednesday August 19, and will last through the end of August.

Gilly Carter, the owner of the Men's Room barber shop, said: "It's to help people out during the recession."

Gilly Carter gives a customer a haircut with visor and mask on at her barber shop, The Men's Room

Gilly, who has run the High Street barber shop for nearly six years, has worked as a barber for 30 years and has never seen business as slow as it has been over the last three to four weeks.

The barber shop saw booming business right after they reopened on the fourth of July. They even ran a ticket based system on the Saturday July 4 to help manage the queues down the high street.

But a few weeks later business really changed with very little footfall of people coming into the shop. She has even had to put a staff barber on furlough after the July fourth reopening.

Gilly already received a COVID relief grant from the government, which she used to help pay rent during the lockdown. But that money is all gone now.

The Razor King Turkish barbers is also wants to remind people it's safe to come out for a haircut

If business doesn't pick up she may be forced to shut for good.

She said:"Before COVID it was lovely, we were doing really well. But now, I've never known it to be this quiet, ever. Before, when there was a recession there weren't as many barber shops in town.

"We hope things get back to normal soon and people start feeling more comfortable coming out again."

Gilly and Danille Cutts, who works as a barber at the Men's Room, both want to reassure people it is safe to come out for a haircut.

Danielle said: "We clean everything down. Everything gets a deep clean. We've got masks and visors we wear, and customers have to wear a plastic gown for their haircuts."

Normally Saturday and Sunday are their busiest days, but the past weekend was very slow.

She spoke to a regular customer who walked by the shop one day and he said he'd been to a village barbers because he thought it would be too busy in the town centre.

Gilly said: "He's going to come back now though. A lot of older people don't want to come out because they think they'll have to queue.

The Men's Room barbershop is open seven days a week: Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, Saturday from 9am to 4pm and Sunday 10am to 2pm.

Mohammad Jalow, who owns the Razor King barbershop in the High Street, said they are also finding business very slow.

He said: "We're okay, but it's been really quiet. I don't know what's going to happen. We normally have three full-time people working, and now we only have one full-time person and two part-time people."

James Hendry, who got a haircut today (Tuesday August 18) at the Razor King encouraged people to come into town.

He said: "I've been coming here for two years now, and it's literally the best barber shop in Banbury. They've put all the precautions in place, and it's still as friendly as it's always been."

It's not just barber shops that are finding the current COVID-19 economic climate difficult.

Jenny's Cafe also located in the High Street has found business slow, even with the government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Enver 'Enrico' Ercan, who has run the business since 2009, has never seen the business this quiet and slow. It has left him concerned about the business after the government's help scheme finishes at the end of the month.

Enrico, who runs the family-owned business with his wife, said: "It's very hard right now. Now that it's half price we're okay, but otherwise it's very quiet."