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Great Clips Targets Capital City of Ottawa in its Next Wave of Canadian Expansion

A high number of families in the area plus a booming political scene make Canada’s capital a prime market for the salon franchise.

Great Clips has already made waves throughout Canada, and now the salon brand is setting its sights on a major prize in the country: Ottawa.

The brand is actively looking for franchisees to break ground in Canada’s capital and anticipates an enthusiastic response from the market. There are currently 155 Great Clips salons throughout Canada and the brand anticipates the Ottawa market can hold at least 40 more.

“We have 55 salons in the greater Toronto area, so now there’s an opportunity to grow in Ontario outside of the GTA. The plan is to eventually fill in the gaps between Ontario and the West Coast, where we have around 100 salons, to gain a national presence across most of Canada,” said Beth Nilssen, Great Clips Director of Franchise Development. “We’ve been doing some marketing and public relations to alert interested entrepreneurs that the opportunity is finally available and our real estate team is ready to go.”

Nilssen anticipates the brand will be very well-accepted in Ottawa.

“I think it’s going to be amazing,” Nilssen said. “The demographics are spot on for Great Clips, and the number of families certainly points to high potential. There is a large market for people looking for affordable haircuts at place where the whole family feels comfortable.”

Nilssen noted the variety of business opportunities that exist in Ottawa. 

“As the capital city of Canada, Ottawa is truly a booming part of the country on the political scene and Great Clips has the opportunity to become a major player in the area for young professionals, too,” said Nilssen. “Our target customer is someone who values convenience – so we’re great for anyone who is looking for a great haircut but wants to experience that in the most convenient way possible. The fact that we’ve developed the technology to make that a top priority of our guest experience speaks volumes.”

Brand enthusiasts know that Great Clips is an innovator in the haircare industry by being the first salon to allow customers to check-in online. This was back in 2011.

And the innovation hasn’t stopped.

Great Clips continues to implement systems that will set the brand up for further success in 2019 and beyond, including the rollout of the new salon management system Salon X across its franchise system that started last year. Shorthand for Salon Experience of the Future, Salon X will enhance the way Great Clips salons serve and engage with customers. The program is now rolling out to Canadian salons as well.  

“For Great Clips to continue to grow, it is necessary for us to stay current with technology and to find ways to differentiate ourselves from the competition,” said Mari Fellrath, Great Clips Vice President of Business Intelligence and Technology.

In addition to Ottawa, Great Clips has also identified the Manitoban capital of Winnipeg as another Canadian market of opportunity.

“We believe there is a great deal of unmet demand in the space and our brand can deliver on what customers want – a great haircut and low wait times at a reasonable price,” said Craig Touchie, Great Clips Director of Operations in Canada. “Expansion in the Winnipeg market will help us close the gap between our Alberta and Ontario salons as we become a national salon brand in Canada.”

Great Clips franchisee Sanjay Mehrota, who has been with the brand since 2001 and now owns 10 salons in the Edmonton market, cited the strong brand support.

“Corporate team members come to our salons on a quarterly basis to provide resources and guidance,” said Mehrotra.

As an Ottawa native, Nilssen believes the capital city is an excellent place for the salon brand.

“From my own personal experience, I see a need for the service that Great Clips provides within this market,” said Nilssen. “But, the beauty of being a franchise system is that the growth of the system only occurs when we are supporting local business owners so that they can support their local community by creating jobs.”

To learn more about franchising with Great Clips, visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.