The Barber’s Parlour and Fine Wines

Barbers Parlour wine shelf

You could guess from the shop front that The Barber’s Parlour & Fine Wines is no ordinary barbershop.

Owner, Steven Flynn has been running the shop for over twenty years but in 2013 decided to turn his hobby and love for wine into a business. A self-confessed lover of Amarone and Rioja, his motivation was to ‘enhance the experience of visiting the barber shop.’ Judging by the success he’s had so far, it’s been an inspired move.

What to stock

Undaunted by a lack of experience in selling wine, he began filling his shelves with wines he enjoyed. Steven says it is important to have a range ‘more interesting than your supermarket selections’ and of course, he has to like the taste. This approach has so far worked well, his ‘clients have really enjoyed sampling and purchasing the wines.’ It means that the shelves are full of wines that he enjoys, something that certainly must help with the hand-selling.

It’s all about the idea

The rather unique concept of the store means that Steven has found word is quickly getting round, while the new shop name has helped pique walk-in customer’s interest.  It’s this approach to choosing wine that led him to meeting Paul Pujol, winemaker at Prophet’s Rock. Paul said that in all his time travelling the world he’d never encountered such a unique venture.

What works best

Steven says that wines in the £12 to £20 bracket have been the best sellers, while his passion for the style has meant he’s sold a fair bit of Amarone at the £25-£40 mark. As well as providing wine by the bottle, his customers can also purchase wine by the glass. It’s early days with selling his wines by the glass but he has noticed a new set of customers. Each wine has a hand-written tasting note and is merchandised across shelves in the waiting area of the shop.

Steven’s experiences show that a bit of passion and intrigue can go a long way to growing sales. It can be challenging to maintain an interesting selection of wine. So what’s Steven’s secret. Is it a super refined palate? Not quite he says simply, don’t ‘be afraid of trying different wines.’

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