Great Clips

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Great Clips
IndustryHair salon
FoundedSeptember 22, 1982; 37 years ago (1982-09-22)
HeadquartersBloomington, Minnesota, U.S.
Key people
Ray Barton (Chairman of the Board)
Steve Hockett (CEO)
Rob Goggins (President)
Revenue$1.03 billion

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.[1]


Great Clips salon in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The first Great Clips salon opened under the name Super Clips near the University of Minnesota campus on September 22, 1982.[2] 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.[3]

In early 1983, founders Steve Lemmon and David Rubenzer sought out a third partner in Ray Barton to spearhead Great Clips’ expansion and franchising.[4]

The first franchised Great Clips salon opened for business on July 16, 1983 in Brooklyn Center, MN.[5] The company grew from 150 franchised salons in 1988 to 1,000 by 1997. The 2,500th salon was opened in 2006.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

In 1987, Lemmon and Rubenzer took a step back and named Barton president of the company.[9] Ten years later, in 1997, Barton bought out his partners—Lemmon, Rubenzer, and Jeff Elgin—to become the majority shareholder.[10][11]

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.[12] In 2014, Charlie Simpson retired and Steve Hockett became company president.[13]

Corporate Overview[edit]

Facts and Figures[edit]

Great Clips, Inc. has over 4,400 salons in North America.[14]

In 2013, Great Clips reported an annual revenue of $1.03 billion.[1] Over 30,000 stylists are employed by Great Clips salons.[15]


Ray Barton Chairman of the Board
Rhoda Olsen Vice Chair of the Board
Steve Hockett Chief Executive Officer
Rob Goggins President
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

Business model[edit]

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.”[17]

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.[18]

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.”[19]


Online Check-In[edit]

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.[20] The app has been downloaded more than 3 million times and is used by about 20 percent of its customers.[21]

Clip Notes[edit]

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.[22]


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.[23]

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.[24]

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.[25]


Great Clips is a sponsor of many professional teams including the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, and Minnesota Wild.

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.

For NHRA events, they are a co-sponsor of Clay Millican's Top Fuel Dragster.


  1. ^ a b "Great Clips breaks $1 billion mark by sticking to the basics". 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  2. ^ Yastrow, Shelby (2013). Vision to Legacy: The Great Clips Story. Minneapolis, MN.: Great Clips, Inc. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-9898521-1-1.
  3. ^ Yastrow, Shelby (2013). Vision to Legacy: The Great Clips Story. Minneapolis, MN.: Great Clips, Inc. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-9898521-1-1.
  4. ^ Yastrow, Shelby (2013). Vision to Legacy: The Great Clips Story. Minneapolis, MN.: Great Clips, Inc. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-9898521-1-1.
  5. ^ Yastrow, Shelby (2013). Vision to Legacy: The Great Clips Story. Minneapolis, MN.: Great Clips, Inc. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-9898521-1-1.
  6. ^ "Great Clips is moving at a rapid clip toward its goal of 3,000 salons". Star Tribune. March 11, 1998.
  7. ^ Yastrow, Shelby (2013). Vision to Legacy: The Great Clips Story. Minneapolis, MN.: Great Clips, Inc. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-9898521-1-1.
  8. ^ Kelly, Patricia (July 1, 2007). Twin Cities Business Archived from the original on December 19, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Yastrow, Shelby (2013). Vision to Legacy: The Great Clips Story. Minneapolis, MN.: Great Clips, Inc. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-9898521-1-1.
  10. ^ Yastrow, Shelby (2013). Vision to Legacy: The Great Clips Story. Minneapolis, MN.: Great Clips, Inc. p. 468. ISBN 978-0-9898521-1-1.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-04. Retrieved 2015-01-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-04. Retrieved 2015-01-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "New Great Clips president didn't let failed salon diminish passion for the brand". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  14. ^ "Executive of the Year: Great Clips Inc. CEO Rhoda Olsen (Video)". Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  15. ^ "About Us | Great Clips". Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  16. ^ "Leadership | Great Clips". Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  17. ^ "". Retrieved 2018-09-01. External link in |title= (help)
  18. ^ Great Clips (2014-09-11), Great Clips on Fox Business News - 9/10/14, retrieved 2018-09-01
  19. ^ "6 Low-Cost Franchises with Great Growth Potential". Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  20. ^ Horowitz, Bruce (2011-05-31). "More people use apps to make appointments". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  21. ^ "Great Clips, Periscope seek laughs and clicks with 'Ralphpunzel'". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  22. ^ "Great Clips". Retail Merchandiser. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  23. ^ "Great Deeds | Great Clips". Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  24. ^ "Great Deeds | Great Clips". Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  25. ^ "Great Clips of Kindness for Cancer | Uplift Blog". CaringBridge. 2014-07-10. Retrieved 2018-09-01.

External links[edit]