Great Clips Celebrates Our 30th Birthday!

MINNEAPOLIS, July 12, 2012—Great Clips, the Minnesota-based haircare company, will celebrate its 30th birthday this week with summer-long festivities honoring the founders, franchisees, employees, stylists and customers of the company that forever changed the haircare industry. Great Clips Chairman Ray Barton was one of three local men whose dreams for quick and convenient cuts, along with the hard work of the staff and franchisees, have grown the company into an international icon with some 3,000 salons. Great Clips, headquartered in Minnesota, celebrates its birthday along with salons in 150 markets across the United States and Canada. 

It may be Great Clips’ birthday, but the company is the one giving the presents by surprising corporate staff with small gifts that unexpectedly show up at their desk or home office. The festivities will culminate at the end of September with a huge Birthday Celebration and Convention for franchisees (salon owners), managers and corporate staff in Minneapolis.

Later this summer, Great Clips will also be awarding a variety of fun, early-80s retro gifts to its online fans via FacebookTwitter and

The gift giving will continue through November when Great Clips will present a 2012 Camaro to one lucky person who enters the Great Clips Camaro Giveaway.

“Thirty years ago, we began our quest to change an industry; today, we are the world’s largest, most recognized and respected salon brand,” says Ray Barton, one of the three original dreamers and now Chairman of the Board. “We were true leaders in providing our team members with the best pay, paid healthcare, vacations and training. We always provided our customers with the highest value. Today, we continue to focus on what the customer values by keeping wait times low, offering a comfortable salon environment and providing quality cuts by professionally trained Great Clips stylists “

Haircutting History
In 1982, the year of mullets, side ponytails, big bangs and tons of hairspray, Great Clips started as a single salon on the University of Minnesota campus. Barton, now Chairman of the Board, and his two partners David Rubenzer and Steve Lemmon had a dream to franchise Great Clips nationwide. Barton admits he “hounded” his close friends who opened the first Great Clips franchise in Brooklyn Center, Minn. The rest is, well, haircutting history.

Barton says he built the company on instinct, guts and common sense. “I didn’t need research.  People get caught up in the minutia of information and it paralyzes them,” he says. “I’d talk to neighbors, go get my haircut and listen to people who said they didn’t want to wait. They wanted a great haircut at a good price. I didn’t need a focus group to figure that out.”

In 2011, Barton handed the company reins over to his sister, Rhoda Olsen, who is now CEO. Olsen has continued to make haircutting history by adding online check-in, a first in the haircare industry and one of many ways this company has revolutionized the salon experience.

Great Clips initiated sweeping changes in the industry during the past 30 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 being open evenings, Sundays and Mondays to make it more convenient for customers to get their hair cut.
• Great Clips keeps haircare simple and affordable for customers by focusing on select services such as cuts and styles, rather than hair color and other spa services packaged into full-service salons.
• You do not need to make an appointment for a cut at Great Clips, furthering convenience.
• Various Great Clips salon owners set a new employer standard by offering stylists hourly wages and benefits, including health care and vacation time.
• Great Clips is the first salon brand to create an online check-in service, 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.

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 or download the app for Android and iPhone. For more information about Great Clips, Inc. or to find a location near you, visit