Sales soar for hairdressing supplies firm

Poulton le Fylde-based Coolblades has seen sales increase by 650 per cent during the coronavirus pandemic as people take hairdressing matters into their own hands.

The business was launched by husband-and-wife team Brian and Julie Bannister in 2003 to serve hairdressing and beauty supplies to salons and stylists in the UK.

At first it seemed as though the closure of these businesses due to social distancing regulations would hinder sales. The company had to close its own physical store, but the ecommerce operation remained online and soon found a growing audience of people seeking out DIY alternatives.

Sales across the board have increased by 650 per cent over the same period last year, with orders for the top-selling Kobe Carbon Barber Comb increasing by 760 per cent. For some products, the company sold almost a year's worth of stock within ten days.

Rupert Hughes, the brand’s ecommerce director, said: "When the lockdown happened we weren’t sure what the impact would be. To our surprise, we saw a huge overnight spike in sales across our online channels, focused primarily on our website; it was way more than we could ever have anticipated.

To our surprise, we saw a huge overnight spike in sales.

"The lockdown pushed people online looking for supplies like scissors, clippers and colouring sets so they could brave their own lockdown DIY haircuts. In addition, high street firms that sell to the hair and beauty industry also went dark, which meant that we saw a huge uplift in our usual professional customers who were coming online and finding us."

Rupert said the firm's ecommerce software Brightpearl has been crucial in handling the huge increase in orders. 

He added: "People say isn’t it fabulous that the business is doing so well, and it is, but what they don’t see is how relentless it's been to deal with such an increase in the volume of orders, pretty much overnight, and the huge uplift in customer service queries alongside it, all with the same number of staff who can't work as effectively as before because of social-distancing restrictions. 

"Brightpearl helped us to manage the surge in demand; processing tens of thousands of orders across multiple online channels without missing a step. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to survive the last three months and would have had to close our doors."

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