|As Genco Sets The Style For Devonshire Road|
We meet the man behind Chiswick's first male grooming salon
A good grooming ritual may not be an alien concept to certain local males; however, it transpires that growing numbers of Chiswick men are discovering its benefits thanks to Genco.
Launched just three months ago, Genco has introduced male grooming to the high street, allowing today’s men to relax, unwind and indulge all at affordable prices. I went down to Devonshire Road to meet one of the men behind the hair styling, traditional wet shaves, massages, skin treatments – the list is a long one! - Bharat Parmar.
“After 15 years of working in advertising I finally came to the conclusion that I should take some of the advice that I've been giving and create a brand of my own.” says Bharat
“Men's attitude towards looking after themselves has been changing and as a result male grooming is one of the fastest growing market sectors. When I was looking for a business idea it felt natural to take on the male grooming sector. I'd personally been frustrated by the lack of good places to go designed specifically for men without having to travel into central London and spend a small fortune.”
So why did you choose Chiswick? “The concept behind Genco is to give men access to great services, expertise in hair, skin, well-being and style at an affordable price. Good grooming should be a regular practice rather than a one off treat. We believe that when you look sharp, you feel sharp and you feel at the top of your game - both at work and down the pub. And Chiswick is an ideal place for it - not least because I live locally but whilst Chiswick seems to serve women well, there is a lack of businesses targeted at men.”
Who is your target market? “Genco is for all men and the service style and decor has been carefully designed so that it is welcoming, non-intimidating and stylish. Although we are stylists rather than barbers, we've taken cues from the traditional barber shop and then given it a modern contemporary twist. Mirrored walls but in an organic oval shape with the usual mono-chrome images of men with dated hairstyles replaced with images of male icons. The walls are actually a commissioned art-installation, by up and coming artist Luke Frost who has a unique 'street graffiti' style using screen printing techniques.”
“Combine our interior with a service style which is professional with high attention to detail but very friendly and personal and you get a place where men feel at home. It isn't a surprise that our customers are of all ages from young and funky media types to the more corporate man who needs a more conservative look. We've also had our fair share of celebrities that live in Chiswick".
"It is interesting that one of our more popular packages is the Father and Son package where man and chip-off-the-block get their hair cut together for £45 - it's just a really pleasant hour for the 2 to spend together.”
How have you found the past three months since opening? “In a very short time we've got a long list of clients and I'm delighted that repeat business is incredibly high. Customers respond well to the small things like the extensive complimentary drinks menu (which includes Gin and Tonic - very popular on weekday evenings) having the daily newspapers, the chat and the eclectic music that we play in the salon. In particular our customers just love hanging out in the salon because of its informal friendly atmosphere.”
“A really welcome surprise is that men, regardless of what they admit to their mates down the pub, are interested in the way they look, and soak up advice and information on how to maintain healthy skin, and take care over their general sense of well-being. For example skin maintenance facials are really popular, and we're finding that once someone has tried it, they're hooked.”
And what about this special offer? “As autumn will soon be here, swiftly followed by winter we are offering a special skin defence package. A hair-cut plus a hot-towel shave incorporating a skin defence facial for £55. Plus, if you're a new customer to Genco, then you will also receive a complimentary treatment up to the value of £45 when you spend £35 with us in September. Just quote ChiswickW4.com when you come in.”
I was sold and Mr B was put first in line of defence!
September 7, 2007