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Professional Hair & Beauty Supplies

Aston Fincher, supplying the hair and beauty trade since 1959

History of Aston & Fincher

Hairdressing since the 1950s

Company founder Bob Fincher buys Aston Toilet Supplies, started in 1934, from Mr Aston. Aston & Fincher opens in Soho Road, Handsworth, in July 1959. The first employee is his son, Richard Fincher.

1959

1950s

Salons had a number of individual booths or cubicles, usually of dark wood panelling. These were then sealed off with a curtain when the client entered. Each booth was its own intimate little salon with a mirror, a front-wash basin, drawers for equipment and a chair. Everything, even the dryer was brought to the client, who didn’t need to move for anything.

old chemist shop
Growth was rapid and the company moves from the 1000sqft premises to 6000sqft on Soho Hill. Customers around the Birmingham and Black Country area were served by four representatives and four vans. 1963 Early 1960s The dryer bank revolutionised salons. A booth, with its single dryer, meant a hairdresser could only work on one client at a time, whereas the dryer bank enabled them to have a number clients on the go. Hairdressing was for the first time on open view to the public. Women were able to see each other having their hair done and talk to each other. This transformed going to the hairdressers into a social event.
Soho Hill was over four floors, and increasingly impractical. Aston & Fincher moves to Holyhead Road, Handsworth with counter service and six vans and representatives as part of the 70-strong staff.  1967 1960s With both men and women purchasing all their toiletries and personal items from the salon or barber’s shop, retail sales often accounted for more than hair services. old salon retail
Change was in the air. The first cash & carry in the industry is opened at the rear of Holyhead Road. Within two years it had taken over the whole of the ground floor. Furniture sales increase dramatically to service salons' needs. 1969 Late 1960s Vidal Sassoon and his contemporaries had revolutionised cutting, and street fashion and youth culture had exploded into hairdressing. Salons were becoming open and ever more design conscious and reflective of contemporary fashion. A new breed of ‘super salon’ also began to emerge in department stores across the country. vidal-sassoon
old directors The expansion continues, this time to other cities and towns. Coventry and Bristol are the first branches opened. Our reps came off the road and became our first store managers. The management team who were to lead the expension for the next 30 years was formed: left to right, Tim LaBrum, Len Barber, Bob Fincher and Richard Fincher. 1972 1970s  

Appointment bookings went from hour intervals to a little as 15 minutes, with a whole production line of clients being shampooed, set, dried or combed out at any one time. Salon owners soon realised that the more clients they could do the more profit they would make, so ever more space was given over to dryer banks and styling stations. Salon owners were reducing their retail space to make way for more workstations.  

old-red-dryer-bank

Expansion continued, often taking over other wholesalers who did not convert to the cash & carry model. Aston & Fincher are now in South Wales, the South West, North West and the East of England.

1980s 1980s  The years that followed saw the industry witness many further changes; the unisex salon, designer Italian furniture, salon interior design and specialist salons offering niche products and services. 

 


 
  Upmarket brands and Italian furniture are a significant part of Aston & Fincher's offering.  1990s  
  The trend started back towards reps, telesales and deliveries. All of our 27 stores offer this service. Oliver Fincher, Richard's son, becomes Managing Director.  2000s  2000s   The advances in equipment and interiors mean today’s client enjoys an atmosphere and services suited to their personal lifestyle. The ‘generic’ salon has begun to disappear, as have most of the mega salons.   
  The big move for the Head Office to Pavilion Drive. The 40,000sqft premises offers the finest hair and beauty cash & carry, training facilities, furniture showroom and distribution centre in the country.  2005  
Exclusive brands continue to evolve, with Moroccanoil, Evo, Framesi, Valera and our Italian designer furniture at the forefront. 2010   The separate shampoo zone, the private technical area and the growth and expansion of salon retailing all hark back to different periods, but are brought together. For clients the social aspect is replaced by relaxation time.  lisa-shepherd-salon
nationwide deliveries

Central telesales and website are brought together as Aston & Fincher Online. Daily nationwide deliveries are part of the service.

The Fincher family still own and run Aston & Fincher. Richard remains as Chairman and Bob's grandson, Oliver is the Managing Director. Bob still takes a keen interest in the business he set up over 50 years ago.

2013   A current salon is more likely to be open to the world, allowing everyone to see the hairdressers’ talents. Salon design today lets owners make the best possible use of space, tailoring an environment to meet the specific brand image and the needs of the client.  hooker-and-young-salon