Like to own a special Saks salon?

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Stylists in northeast England, if you’re interested in owning a hair salon, we have the rarest of situations right now with *three* opportunities to do just that right in the very heartland of Saks.

After amazing Saks careers spanning the Farah-flicking 70s to all that the UK hair industry has to offer today, our longstanding salon owners – Martin at Hartlepool and Steve at Middlesbrough – are packing away their scissors. Soooo we’re looking for next-gen salon owners to take us forward in these much-loved Saks locations. Plus the Saks salon franchise in our hometown of Darlington is up for grabs too.

Has one of our salons got your name on it – if you think it might, please get in touch.


If you’re interested but unsure how it would all work – we’d make it easier than you may think. You’ll be the boss but with an unreal amount of help, every step of the way from Saks HQ along with the support of our vast network of salon owners.

Some of our Class of 2022 salon owners with our mate Bev at L’Oreal Professionnel

Think beautiful, bespoke salon interiors, brilliant training, a big launch, and the best business and marketing support. From setting up your website and your socials to updating them regularly with brand messages, video content, and beautiful imagery. PR in your town too – sending press releases, inviting in journalists and influencers.

Heaps of help with other aspects of salon life around the gorgeous hairdressing… all-sorts of top-notch training for salon owners and teams – hair, operations, finance, hiring, entering awards, and a local marketing toolkit with materials galore. Giving you more time for what matters most – your customers, your team, and your work-life balance.

The Saks brand has a strong heritage and loads of loyal customers in the northeast. The first salon opened in Darlington in 1974, followed by Middlesbrough, then Hartlepool, and many more across the UK… and the rest is successful salon group history.


You can tell we’re super-proud of our ‘Since 1974’ heritage. Everything we’ve done over the years contributes to what we are today. A nationwide hair and beauty salon group who knows a thing or two about salon success. Watch the film from our current brand campaign shoot for 2022 to get a feel for how we do things today… #proudtobesaks indeed.


They started out with us in the 70s. They’ve seen it all. So we got to reminiscing on all-things Saks with Martin and Steve, our owners of Saks Hartlepool and Middlesbrough. Only the printable stuff obvs…

Saks Middlesbrough Retro Scene

OK Martin. An anecdote from when you first picked up the scissors?

1975 at Saks Middlesbrough. The second Saks salon in the second year. I was on my way to the footy and I passed a building with dark windows. I pressed my nose against the glass – it was a hive of activity with a great vibe.

I was an industrial engraver and at that moment I knew I wanted to be a hairdresser! I kept ringing up until the owner gave me a chance. I turned up with my haversack on the first day, and just got welcomed in. Everyone was on it for training me up and looking out for me. You can imagine there were plenty of initiations. Won’t go there.

So many highlights over the years (sorry). Special moments that spring to mind?

I’ve done all the photographic styling and session work, but my heart was always with my customers in the salon. I entered many L’Oreal Colour Trophies and if there were 10 finalists, I always came 11th! But I always loved taking part – incredible experiences. The UK hair industry is a fantastic industry to be part of.

Martin back in the day

As a salon owner define what’s best about being part of Saks

The company was – and still is – very supportive. With a network of like-minded people you can ring at any time, there’s not one person who won’t help. And the training’s second to none. Being a franchisee was always the natural progression for me. From apprentice to stylist to manager to owner. So, if you want it, make it happen.

I want to say big thanks to Dennis, Malcom and Louis – and of course Skee – for Saks. And special thanks to my good friend Lucas who mentored me from day one to this day. Say I carry the scars with pride!

Future plans?

No plans. Maybe some golf. And back to the footy on a Saturday – it’s been a while. I’m going to enjoy taking it as it comes.

That wallpaper though

Steve, take us back to the ‘70s. Tell us something about the way Saks rolled?

It was June 1975. Saks had been open for eight months and Skee (Saks’ co-owner and Managing Director), who was a friend of a friend told me about this exciting new company that he worked for. He convinced me to go for an interview with one of the co-founders, Malcolm Hanson which was quickly arranged to take place at the regional heats of the L’Oreal Colour Trophy at the Mayfair Ballroom in Newcastle.

Your 11pm interview awaits, Steve

Your 11pm interview awaits, Steve

I turned up to the most electrifying event. Malcolm, along with Dennis Cheesebrough (co-founder and co-owner), Skee and other Saks stylists were frantically preparing hair models for the competition. I watched in awe – I’d seen nothing like it.

Eventually the finalists who would go through to the London grand final were announced and Saks got first, second and fourth place! Malcolm bought enough fizz to sink a ship and celebrate in what was to become true Saks style.

LCT Regionals ’83 same venue. UK hair industry VIBE.

It must have been 11pm before I was introduced and given a somewhat informal ‘interview’ but he said the job was mine.

So, the next day I turned up for work, early and eager. When Malcolm arrived he had totally forgotten – fair one given the celebrations the night before. However, seeing as I was there and ready to go he said why not give me a try. That was it – I was in. 46 years ago and I’m not sure if my employment was ever confirmed officially! I’ve had a great career at Saks and wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

Some Saks Stories right here. We love ’em. And we love you two xx

Our MD, Stephen Kee says “Reminiscing like this is brilliant. I want to thank you both for playing such a big part in making the Saks brand what it is today – you’ll be missed! We’re always moving forward and evolving as a brand and now we have three amazing opportunities that don’t come up often. We regularly get enquiries for salon ownership in this part of the country but always have to decline. Not so now. Get in touch if you’re interested and we’ll tell you more.”


Don’t worry, recruiting procedures have come on quite a lot since the 70s. But we think you get that the training is exceptional and the sky’s the limit with Saks. Stylists and therapists can browse hair and beauty vacancies nationwide here.


We want to hear from stylists and therapists who’d like to know more about owning a salon with Saks. And existing salon owners who’d like to convert to Saks. Particularly those interested in taking forward one of these brand heartland salons of Darlington, Hartlepool or Middlesbrough.

Get in touch and we’ll chat it through – inbox, call 0845 678 0290 or email

Saks salons of today

Heritage images: Mirrorpix, L’Oreal Professionnel and Martin’s archive.

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