Crawford Lane barber S$6 haircut price unchanged last 20 years, never raised prices

The barber's wife runs a book store in the other half of the shop.

Low Jia Ying | May 18, 2022, 01:33 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

A barber at Crawford Lane has been charging S$6 for his haircuts over the past 20 years, and he said he has never raised prices, Shin Min Daily News reported.

The barber and his wife run a barber shop and a book store within the same ground floor unit.

The shop space is split into two, with the wife running a book store on one side, and the man running the barber shop on the other.

Struggled to keep business afloat through the years

Their shop, called Ke Li Da Book Store, is located at Block 465 at Crawford Lane in the Lavender area.

Guan Jinchang, the barber, told Shin Min Daily News that he and his wife had initially rented the shop in 1983, with plans to open a hairdressing salon.

But there were already eight other salons in the neighbourhood, Guan said, which prompted the couple to convert the shop into a book store.

The couple decided to buy over the unit in 1995, taking a S$400,000 loan from the bank.

But the unexpected economic downturn in the following years, and having to make loan payments of S$3,400 every month, meant that their business was unsustainable.

Guan told Shin Min Daily News that in 2002, he decided to set up a small barber shop in the book store.

He said residents in the area had no confidence in him then, and business remained poor.

To attract customers, Guan priced his haircuts very affordably at S$6, and has maintained this price throughout peak periods like Chinese New Year and the holidays.

He still keeps to his S$6 price till this day.

Saw no need to raise prices, now works to pass the time

Guan, who is now 70 years old, told Shin Min Daily News that at first he did not dare to raise the price out of fear that he would lose customers.

In 2016, the couple managed to pay off the loan. Guan said the economy then was better, and felt there was no need to raise prices.

During the pandemic, Guan said business fell by 50 per cent. He now earns about S$3,000 a month.

He said he has been blessed with children and grandchildren, and does not need anything else.

He now works just to pass the time, and only hopes that he and his wife remain healthy.

Follow and listen to our podcast here

Top photos via Sean Yizhen/Google Maps