WWD: Walmart cuts a deal with men's grooming brand
Johnny's Chop Shop, a barbershop launched out of the men's department at Topshop in Oxford Circus in 2015, is coming to 3,500 Walmart stores, founder Steven Ross told Women's Wear Daily this week. Walmart did not respond to a request from Retail Dive for additional details on the deal.
The shop, now a much larger men's grooming brand, sells products like hair clays, dry shampoo and hairspray all free of parabens, targeting men between the ages of 16 and 30. In Walmart stores, Johnny's Chop Shop will sell seven of its best sellers, WWD reports.
Also, part of the U.S. expansion is a forthcoming New York City flagship barbershop in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood next to Supreme, a location that Ross told WWD fits right in line with its target shopper.
The men's grooming industry is having an on-trend moment. Over the last few years, quirky digitally native brands like Dollar Shave Club and Harry's have exploded in popularity, offering subscription services that deliver affordable razors and other related products. The model held such promise that Unilever shelled out $1 billion for the brand in 2016 and Target was quick to strike up a partnership with Harry's, and it's recently launched women's shave brand Flamingo. Now, Walmart is looking to tap into the category with Johnny's Chop Shop.
Although international, and likely lesser known than home-grown brands, Johnny's Chop Shop offers Walmart an appeal similar to that of brands like Dollar Shave Club and Harry's. Much of that is based on good design — a critical element for brands catering to millennials and Gen Zers. Ross told WWD that everything they do is design-led specifically to reach those younger customer demographics.
Reaching a younger, wealthier and more urban customer is one of Walmart's key strategies, especially through its e-commerce units. Over the last year, its Jet.com marketplace has repositioned itself as a hub for cool digital brands, like Bonobos, Nike and others. The company has been careful of its strategy to keep some brands, especially its digitally native ones, off of Walmart.com and out of its stores. A partnership with Johnny's Chop Shop to bring some of that cool flair into its big-box stores signals the company is also looking to broaden its store appeal beyond its core playbook focusing predominantly on convenience and price.
Follow Corinne Ruff on Twitter