A Charlotte man, Shaun “Lucky” Corbett has opened the first African American barbershop in Walmart.
Corbett, 40, earlier this month gathered with friends numbering about 100 to celebrate the opening of the shop, The Charlotte Agenda reports.
Corbett’s journey began in 2005 when he enrolled in the No Grease barber school. He paid $10,000 admissions fee saved from working in a barbershop and serving pizza. By 2006, Corbett was working as a full-time barber and around 2010 opened his first barbershop, Da Lucky Spot in Charlotte.
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With the desire to give back to the society, Da Lucky Spot soon transformed into a neighborhood hangout aimed at helping young blacks to avoid resorting to crimes. Corbett’s social work of handing out turkeys to families, book bags to children returning to schools caught the attention of Michelle Belaire, the senior director of community relations for Walmart. He was also engaged in after school tutoring programs in the shop for students, as well as, his collaboration with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s (CMPD) detective Garry McFadden, serving as a liaison between the department and the community to facilitate conversations.
Corbett’s work with the police endured him to The Obama administration. He was invited to the White House to share his program with groups from other cities.
According to reports, Belaire flew in from Arkansas to speak to Corbett and during their discussion he informed her of his desire to own and operate a barbershop in Walmart.
When Belaire saw a vacancy at a Walmart in Charlotte, she notified Corbett and he jumped into action.
The retail giant never in its history had an in-store tenant that wasn’t affiliated with a chain before. But Corbett didn’t give up and before he realized he had the lease agreement in hand.
The entire city came out to celebrate, including Charlotte’s Mayor Vi Lyles and Belaire during the opening of the shop.
Walmart presented Corbett with a $25,000 check which he said is going towards Cops and Barbers, to put more young people through barber school.
“We’re excited to support the great work Shaun and his team are doing here in Charlotte by having them become a part of our in-store Walmart family. We hope the increased exposure and customer traffic of being in a local Walmart store will help them spread their message, mission and impact even further across the city,” Kate Mora, the Regional General Manager for Walmart in North Carolina told Spectrum News.
Excited by his feat, Corbett also said: “We’re living in a time where the community needs something to call their own. Lucky Spot Barbershop represents hope, determination, new beginnings and opportunity for those that have been told that they cannot do something. We are excited to be a part of such a game and life-changing opportunity.”