Barbershop owner: ‘Pokemon GO is hurting my business’

MCCORDSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A small town barber said the popular app Pokémon GO is cutting into his business and giving his shop a bad name. The part that bothers him the most is that he never wanted any part of it.

There’s buzz in McCordsville and it’s not just inside Gary Wiley’s barbershop, it’s outside as well.

“They’re not even coming in now, they’re out in the parking lot playing the game,” he said.

His shop is built out of a train caboose and is filled with model trains and trinkets. He doesn’t see it as a Pokémon GO hotbed but the app does. It picked his business as a Pokestop, or landmark, for gamers to visit and he said they keep packing his parking lot.

“Then people are driving by thinking I’m busy and I’m not and you can’t run a business with non-paying customers,” he said.

To add insult to the injury, the app gave his business the wrong name, calling it Train Wreck Hair.

“It’s called McCordsville Barbershop, that’s my title,” Wiley said.

“When I seen it, the barbershop was named the Train Wreck hair, it really upset me,” said his son Andy. “That’s badmouthing my dad’s business.”

That’s why their next step is to get themselves removed from the game. Pokémon GO allows people, businesses and other organizations remove themselves from being a Pokestop or gym.

“I’m going to go on the link soon as he gets my hair done and opt out,” Andy said as he was getting his haircut.

Until then, they said they’ll continue to nicely ask people to park somewhere else. Wiley said everyone’s been cordial about it so far, however they are still trespassing.

“His complaint would be sufficient enough that they’re on a piece of property for something other than conducting business and could be asked to move on,” said Chief Harold Rodgers, McCordsville Police Department.

Wiley loves having youngsters around the shop. He’s got model trains and toys around the place. He also has a special chair shaped like Thomas the Tank Engine for kids. But he appreciates when they visit as customers, not as Pokémon trainers.

“That’s their game,” he said. “I just don’t want to be a part of it.”

If your home, business, or property has become a Pokémon GO landmark and you’d like to have it removed, click here to file a complaint with the app.

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