Minnesota Celebrates World’s Largest Salon Brand

MINNEAPOLIS, July 15, 2011—Great Clips, the Twin Cities-based haircare company that started with one salon on the University of Minnesota campus, celebrates the opening of its 3,000th salon today, marking an international and Minnesota milestone. Three local mens' dream for quick and convenient cuts, along with the hard work of their staff and franchisees, has grown the company into an international icon that leads the industry as the world’s largest salon brand.  Great Clips celebrates with all of Minnesota, along with its 150 markets across the United States and Canada, as the company opens its 3,000th salon in Albert Lea, Minn. on Friday, July 15.

When Great Clips opened the first salons back in 1982 there were just a few dreamers, but with hard work, solid business practices and the right people, they truly revolutionized the haircare industry. Ray Barton, one of the early Great Clips leaders and now Chairman, recalls, “In 1988, I set a goal to reach 3,000 salons and everyone thought I was crazy. I was naive enough to believe we could do it, and we did! “We were customer-focused; we had a great system, a focused development strategy and a strong relationship with our franchisees (salon owners),” notes Barton.
“Congratulations to the leadership of Great Clips on this noteworthy achievement,” said David Olson, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. “The 3,000 salons and 25,000-plus employees clearly have an economic impact in their communities. Equally important, this Minnesota-based company brings economic growth to our state with every style or cut. It exemplifies the key role that corporate headquarters play in the development and growth of Minnesota’s economy.”

Haircutting History

In 1983, the year of mullets, side ponytails, poufy bangs and LOTS of hairspray, Ray called his friends, Roger and Marylu Ledebuhr, every night for well over a month, hounding them to open the first Great Clips franchise in Brooklyn Center, Minn. Partially in an effort to stop Ray from calling and to get some peace and quiet, the Ledebuhrs and their partner Mary Lou Barton agreed to open the first Great Clips franchise—that first franchised location opened on July 16, 1983. Twenty eight years later, almost exactly to the day, the Ledebuhrs and their adult children are the proud owners of 18 salons, including the 3,000th that will open on Friday, July 15, 2011.

Cutting Out Traditions in the Trade

Great Clips initiated sweeping changes in the industry during the past 29 years including:

• You used to have to pay for a wash, cut and style every time you got your hair cut. Great Clips saves customers money by unbundling services, allowing customers to pay only for the services they want.
• Traditionally, salons used to be open Tuesday through Saturday and were closed for their “weekend” on Sunday and Monday. Great Clips set the industry standard of opening up on evenings, Sundays and Mondays to make it more convenient for customers to get their hair cut.
• Great Clips also goes against the grain, keeping haircare simple and affordable for customers, by choosing to just cut hair and steering clear of hair dying and other spa services packaged into full-service salons.
• You never need to make an appointment for a cut at Great Clips, furthering convenience.
• Great Clips is the first salon brand to create an online check-in, allowing customers to mark their spot in line from a computer or Smart Phone before they get to the salon, making their wait times even shorter and improving convenience.

Celebration Details
Opening day celebration in Albert Lea

• Ribbon Cutting Ceremony:  July 15 at 8:30 a.m. at the 3,000th Great Clips salon located at 1633 Blake Avenue, Albert Lea, MN 56007.
• 100 Free Haircuts:  The salon will open at 9 a.m. and will give away free haircuts to the first 100 people who stop by. The salon will be open until 9 p.m.
• $2.99 Cuts for a Week: The salon will also offer $2.99 hair cuts until July 22.

In a still-dim economy, the shining success of this locally grown Minneapolis company will inspire your viewers and readers. Hard-working, local people show with pride and passion that they made it in business, through good times and bad. The people who have been there from the start and the owners of the 3,000th salon will be available to share their stories of struggle and success.

About Great Clips, Inc.

Great Clips, Inc. was established in 1982 in Minneapolis. Today, Great Clips has more than 3,000 salons throughout the United States and Canada, making it the world’s largest salon brand. Great Clips salons employ nearly 30,000 stylists who receive ongoing training to learn advanced skills and the latest trends. Make Great Clips your choice for value-priced, high-quality haircare for men, women and children. No appointments needed, and salons are open nights and weekends. And, it’s more convenient than ever with Great Clips’ Online Check-In. To check-in online, visit www.greatclips.com or download the app for Android and iPhone. For more information about Great Clips, Inc. or to find a location near you, visit www.greatclips.com.