|Founded||September 22, 1982|
|Headquarters||Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.|
|Ray Barton (Chairman of the Board)|
Steve Hockett (CEO)
Rob Goggins (President)
Great Clips is a hair salon franchise with over 4,100 locations across the United States and Canada. It is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2013, it had system-wide sales of $1.03 billion.
The first Great Clips salon opened under the name Super Clips near the University of Minnesota campus on September 22, 1982. Great Clips salons specialized in no-frills, low-priced haircuts and found immediate success with their first three salons, which opened over a span of three months.
In early 1983, founders Steve Lemmon and David Rubenzer sought out a third partner in Ray Barton to spearhead Great Clips’ expansion and franchising.
The first franchised Great Clips salon opened for business on July 16, 1983 in Brooklyn Center, MN. The company grew from 150 franchised salons in 1988 to 1,000 by 1997. The 2,500th salon was opened in 2006. The first franchisees, Mary Lou Barton (Ray Barton’s wife) and Marylu and Roger Ledebuhr are still Great Clips franchisees today. The Ledebuhrs opened the 3,000th Great Clips salon in 2011.
In 1984, the three owners recruited Rhoda Olsen (née Barton), Ray’s sister, to work for Great Clips part-time as a training consultant to create training manuals and programs for franchisees and stylists. In March 1987, the partners convinced her to leave her position at Land O’Lakes to work full-time as the vice president of human resources at Great Clips.
In 1987, Lemmon and Rubenzer took a step back and named Barton president of the company. Ten years later, in 1997, Barton bought out his partners—Lemmon, Rubenzer, and Jeff Elgin—to become the majority shareholder.
After 28 years as CEO of Great Clips, Barton stepped down in 2011, promoting his sister Rhoda Olsen, who had served as president since 1998. Former executive vice president Charlie Simpson was promoted to president of the company. In 2014, Charlie Simpson retired and Steve Hockett became company president.
Facts and Figures
Great Clips, Inc. has over 4,400 salons in North America.
|Ray Barton||Chairman of the Board|
|Rhoda Olsen||Vice Chair of the Board|
|Steve Hockett||Chief Executive Officer|
|Sandra Anderson||Chief Legal Officer, CFE|
|Rachelle Johnson||Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer|
|Mari Fellrath||Vice President of Business Intelligence|
|Yvonne Mercer||Vice President of Operations|
|Lisa Hake||Vice President of Marketing and Communications|
|Michelle Sack||Vice President of Learning and Development|
|Jared Nypen||Vice President of Talent|
Great Clips, Inc. is a franchise company with over 4,400 salons across North America. The company is known for no-appointment, no-frills salons that provide customers with affordable haircuts. The stripped-down salons are, as COO Rob Goggins has said, “Not flashy or sexy, but a very solid business model.”
Lean investment and operating costs of franchises have enabled Great Clips to provide low-priced services and has led to ten-year growth for the company.
The salons have been noted as a good investment as they are a low-cost franchise with high growth potential. As noted by Kiplingers, “The company has seen steady business, even during the Great Recession, because consumers tend to spend on grooming in both good times and bad.”
In 2011, Great Clips launched Online Check-In, the industry's first real-time check-in application, allowing customers to check wait times and add their name to the wait list before they visit the salon. The app has been downloaded more than 3 million times and is used by about 20 percent of its customers.
In 2014, Great Clips introduced Clip Notes® to track customer data and provide consistent customer service across salons. Information tracked includes frequency of visits, preferred salon, and haircut preference.
Since 1997, Great Clips, Inc. has hosted an annual Charity Golf Classic to benefit Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. In 2013, the event raised $245,000.
Participating Great Clips salons in the U.S. and Canada raise money every October for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals with the Miracle Balloon campaign.
In 2014, Great Clips introduced a new, company-wide charity initiative called Clips of Kindness to provide free clipper cuts for patients undergoing cancer treatments.
Since 2001, Great Clips has sponsored in NASCAR and other forms of motorsports including the World of Outlaws Series. In 2001, they sponsored the Atkins Motorsports team with Minnesotan native Christian Elder behind the wheel of the 38 Ford. The next year, midway through April, Elder was replaced by Mark Green. The next year, they sponsored Kasey Kahne for his first fulltime season in the NASCAR Busch Series. He won his first race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. After that many drivers drove the Great Clips car in the Series AAA Division including A.J. Foyt IV, Chase Pistone, and Tyler Walker. In 2007, Jason Leffler drove the 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry now for Turner Motorsports, from 2007 to 2011 when Great Clips became a sponsor of Kahne again in 2012. In 2012, Kahne and rookie Brad Sweet drove the 38 Chevy Impala. The next year Great Clips ditched the 38 car and moved over to Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports for 2013 with Kahne driving for Great Clips in the Cup Series and Sweet driving in Cup. In 2014, the sponsor left the Nationwide Series for Cup all together and sponsor Kahne on a part time basis from 2014 to 2017. The sponsor left the sport and Kahne after the 2017 season to focus on Minnesotan based sports.
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