Great Clips met tremendous growth in 2018 thanks to a mix of franchise expansion and major technology strides that are expected to help set the brand up for continued success in 2019.
The company met several major milestones in 2018, including more than 10 million downloads of the Great Clips app, which features online check-in. Great Clips also integrated Siri shortcut commands into the app, one of the first 100 apps of two million to integrate that technology, according to Great Clips Director of Development, Beth Caron.
This focus on technology is not accidental. Great Clips has a long history of taking groundbreaking steps in the industry.
“We were the first hair salon brand to allow customers to check-in online, which was in 2011, and we have continued to innovate on the technology side,” Caron said. “We want to make salon visits as seamless as possible for our customers, as it only helps salon employees and, of course, our franchisees.”
The company also installed new in-salon technology that will continue to help streamline the customer process and help managers and franchisees view all angles of the business from all points of a salon. This internal system is currently installed in more than 1,500 of the brand’s salons.
The company also made sweeping technology changes on the franchise development side of its business.
“We completely overhauled the look and feel of the Great Clips development website,” Caron said. “We streamlined our franchise development website to provide access to the necessary information from any device and help prospects quickly understand what markets are available for additional growth.”
On the franchise growth front, Great Clips brought in 54 new franchisees to the system in 2018. It also opened more than 150 additional salons by the end of 2018, bringing the company’s unit count to an impressive 4,350-plus salons. Great Clips also marked 56 straight quarters of salon sales growth.
“We are absolutely thrilled by the numbers we’ve seen so far this year,” Caron said. “It’s a huge validator for our brand to continue growing. . Great Clips has been around for almost 40 years, and our success proves that continued innovation and staying on top of — and even ahead of — industry trends will keep us top-of-mind with our customers.”
The brand’s goals for 2019 include continuing to drive expansion into new markets. Within the United States, Great Clips is looking to expand in the Northeast, including upstate New York, Boston, Vermont and Maine.
The company also wants to expand its Canadian presence, specifically in the cities of Ottawa and Winnipeg. The brand already has a presence in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.
“We’re excited to see momentum in Canada,” Caron said. “It takes a while to introduce a brand in some of the new markets, but we are starting to see some interest and I believe that once that first salon or two are up and running in Ottawa and Winnipeg, we’ll see significant interest in growing the brand in those areas.”
Great Clips takes great pride in its close relationships with franchisees, one in which both teams must truly work together in order to achieve goals. The corporate team works hard to help franchisees deliver solutions, and franchisees work hard to maintain brand standards.
“Great Clips remains a consistent performer on the system-wide and individual level,” Caron said. “We are focused on franchisee success by enhancing the customer experience to make their haircut that much more convenient.”
Franchisees, Caron said, help Great Clips with new initiatives, provide feedback and partner with the brand as the company explores opportunities to keep the brand innovative around its core offering of haircuts.
“The relationship between Great Clips and its franchisees is pretty tight,” Caron said. “We work together. Since we have no corporate salons, the success of Great Clips, Inc. rests in the hands of the franchisees and they know that we are 100 percent dedicated to supporting them and driving more customers in their doors. At the end of the day, we are all in this together.”
The startup costs for a Great Clips franchise range from $136,900 to $258,250. The franchise fee is $20,000. For more information on franchising with Great Clips, visit https://www.greatclipsfranchise.com/.