Great through the years
Great Clips, Inc. was established in Minneapolis, Minnesota by founders David Rubenzer and Steve Lemmon in 1982, a time when most people received haircuts in one of three ways: in full-service hair salons, from barbershops or at home.
As a stylist and businessman, David could see that the industry was changing. Customers were looking for a hair salon service that could fit their busy lifestyles and desire for value. To be part of that change – rather than find themselves competing with it – David and Steve developed the then-radical concept of a walk-in haircare salon with weekend and evening hours, offering customers a select list of services, and providing benefits for stylists.
After the founders opened several successful hair salons, Ray Barton joined David and Steve as an owner in March 1983. With Ray's help and expertise in franchising, the trio set about growing the Great Clips hair salon brand. That success continues through today.
1982: David Rubenzer and Steve Lemmon established Great Clips, Inc. in Minneapolis, Minnesota and opened the first hair salon in the Dinkytown area near the University of Minnesota campus.
March 1983: Ray Barton joined David and Steve as an owner. With Ray's help and expertise in franchising, the trio set about growing the Great Clips hair salon brand with the goal of connecting customers with convenient, great haircuts near them.
July 16, 1983: The first franchised Great Clips location opened.
1984: David and Ray recruited Rhoda Olsen, Ray’s sister, to work for Great Clips part-time as a training consultant.
1987: Rhoda joined the company full-time as the vice president of human resources. Steve and David named Ray company president.
1993: The first Great Clips hair salon in Canada opens.
1997: Ray bought out his partners to become the majority shareholder. Great Clips reached 1,000 hair salons.
1998: Rhoda was promoted to president.
2006: Great Clips marks 2,500 hair salon locations.
2011: Ray became chairman of the board and Rhoda was promoted to CEO. Charlie Simpson, formerly an executive vice president and the chief operations officer, became president. Great Clips marks 3,000 hair salon locations. And Great Clips, Inc. launched the Great Clips app and Online Check-In.
2014: Charlie Simpson retired and Steve Hockett became president. Great Clips, Inc. launched Clip Notes®.
2016: Great Clips marks 4,000 hair salon locations.
2017: Great Clips reaches 150 hair salons open in Canada.
2018: Rhoda Olsen moved to vice chair of the board, Steve Hockett became CEO and Rob Goggins, the then-chief operations officer, became president. Great Clips, Inc. launched haircut reminders via the Great Clips app.