The only way is up

Since lockdown restrictions lifted for non-essential retailers and hair salons on the 4th July, international hair salon franchise, Just Cuts, has launched two brand new locations.

The only way is up

Since lockdown restrictions lifted for non-essential retailers and hair salons on the 4th July, international hair salon franchise, Just Cuts, has launched two brand new locations. David Mathie, General Manager, was at the opening of one of the two salons in the north east, in Sunderland. 

In my native Australia, Just Cuts is quite literally a household name. We’re the largest hairdressing brand in the southern hemisphere and perform 100,000 Style Cuts every week. When we first launched in the UK in January 2018, we started with just one company-owned kiosk location in Lakeside shopping centre. Two and a half years on, and eight salons later, we’re on a mission to establish Just Cuts as a household name on British shores too. And we have so much more in store for the remainder of this year! 

We kicked off 2020 with a brand-new strategy for nationwide growth, whereby key, sought-after sites are preselected and invested in by Just Cuts corporate. We then rebrand and launch the salon. Once operational, these are available for new Franchise Owners to invest in. By March of this year, we’d already opened two salon sites as part of this project, in Leeds and Romford. Both have since been taken on by Franchise Owners and are thriving, even with the three-month closure period. So much so that there were record downloads of the Just Cuts app when the salons opened their doors again on the 4th July. 

Our two most recent launches, in Sunderland and Middlesbrough, have been months in the making. Due to the obvious and unavoidable limitations, we’ve had a significant amount of time to locate and fit-out the perfect sites. The demand for our affordable and convenient styling services, not to mention our value-driven product range, is evident across the nation but we feel that the north is a great region to have invested in for the next phase of our expansion. 

And when we finally opened the salon doors at 9am on what is now being referred to as ‘Super Saturday’, the people of Middlesbrough and Sunderland certainly didn’t disappoint. At this point, people had waited over three months for a haircut. Combine that with the excitement of a brand new, low-cost salon brand in the area, plus our convenient no-appointment service, and you have the perfect recipe for a successful salon launch. 

Operating any sort of business, whether in the franchising industry or not, now comes with a whole host of additional considerations due to COVID-19. To open safely, we’d worked closely with each salon styling team to ensure social distancing guidelines would be met without dampening anyone’s spirits. To manage customer levels and make it a comfortable environment for everyone, customers were encouraged to use our app. They can then check-in to a virtual queue, reducing the risk as they wait for their time in the chair. The safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff is, and always has been, of paramount importance to us – it’s up to us as the franchisor to give them the tools and processes to ensure that remains.

One month on, our Middlesbrough and Sunderland salons are bustling hubs of the community. Whilst they are currently operated by a fully trained Team Leader and team of Stylists, we’re now on the hunt for passionate and hungry Franchise Owners to take the reins. 

With all eight of our UK salons back up and running, we can look forward to the future of our brand and the goals we’ve set for the remainder of this year. Our existing Franchise Owners are revelling in the routine of salon life, but many have their eyes firmly focused on expansion before the year is out – just watch this space! From a business development perspective, plans are well underway for the launch of salon number nine. So, whilst this year might have brought about a whole new set of goals and challenges, the only way is up for our brand from Down Under.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Mathie
David Mathie
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