A Cutting Edge Experience

Since 1896, Pall Mall Barbers has been at the forefront of male grooming and set the bar for stylish gentleman in London for over 120 years. Here, RLI speaks with CEO Richard Marshall who acquired the business in 2005, to learn more about the company and where it is heading.

A barber by trade, Pall Mall Barbers CEO Richard Marshall began in the industry aged just 12, sweeping the barber shop floor of Thomas Antony Hairdressing. Just four years later he was winning awards before moving onto London to work in Mayfair just off Savile Row when he was 21.

In 2005, an opportunity presented itself to acquire an old dilapidated barbers shop in Trafalgar Square, then came the hard graft of full working weeks, cutting hair Monday to Friday then renovating the store on weekends. On one of these weekends Richard came across an old business card with Pall Mall Toilet Saloon written on it; the rest as they say… is history.

“Seven years ago I ‘retired’ from cutting hair which afforded me time to work on the business and begin to understand how business works instead of trying to combine hair cutting with book balancing,” explains Marshall. “Instead of the one store we began with, we now operate seven and we’re opening at the rate of one a year, and each one is becoming bigger and better as we learn how to expand, progress and improve our process.” In August the company will launch its first location in the US after two years of negotiating, finalising the leasing and fit-out.

The new barber shop will be located in the prestigious Rockefeller Center in New York City. The product was first launched in the US at the NY NOW trade show a couple of years ago, where it was the bestselling men’s grooming product on display and was very successful. Going for a walk one day, Richard discovered a space was available in Rockefeller Center. Two years of hard negotiations and multiple hurdles have followed, but now this American dream is almost a reality.