Twenty-sixteen has been a big year for Great Clips. In August, the brand celebrated the opening of its 4,000th salon—an important milestone that comes on the heels of 48 consecutive quarters of same-salon-sales growth. Today, these achievements have further solidified Great Clips’ stance as the largest and fastest growing salon brand in the world.
A few weeks ago, more than 2,000 Great Clips franchisees, their salon teams, vendors and corporate employees gathered in downtown Minneapolis for the brand’s annual convention to recognize these accomplishments and milestones, while at the same time, brainstorming fresh ideas to fuel continued growth in the year ahead. This year’s theme was GREAT Together, which was designed to celebrate the growing success of the brand as a whole and the individual franchise salon owners and their teams. During the three-day convention, attendees heard from company executives who laid out their goals for the future of Great Clips, participated in interactive breakout sessions, learned the latest industry trends and technical skills, and networked with colleagues at social events and award banquets.
Great Clips’ Director of Franchise Development, Beth Caron, said that one of the most important takeaways from this year’s event was the strong sense of camaraderie and helpfulness seen throughout the entire Great Clips system.
“Once again, I came away from the event convinced that the Great Clips convention is a standout example of how this company’s culture is focused on helping franchisees be successful,” Caron said. “We have always made it our priority to treat every single salon owner, their stylists and corporate employee like family—and that sentiment shines through every year at our conventions.”
This year, Great Clips featured Colette Carlson as its keynote speaker. For over 15 years, Carlson has provided hundreds of presentations, breakout sessions and corporate trainings to corporations, and at the Great Clips convention, she shared her ideas for becoming a connected leader—one who is comfortable engaging in challenging conversations without creating conflict or destroying trust.
“It’s all about asking questions to gain insight and awareness, and letting the people you lead know that you care about their development,” Carlson said. “It’s the glue that keeps relationships, salons and organizations working toward a common goal and, ultimately, success for the individual and the team.”
Franchisees also had the chance to hear from Great Clips Chairman of the Board Ray Barton about the history of Great Clips, and how that history will help direct the continued success of the brand. Additional breakout sessions focused on how to use the competitive real estate market to find the next great location and how to effectively build a business through multi-channel marketing. Meanwhile, managers and general managers could choose from multiple sessions that focused on issues directly related to their salons.
Other highlights from this year’s convention included 20-minute Tech Talks, which focused on a variety of technology topics, and an award ceremony. But perhaps one of the most memorable events is the Create the Cut Competition—when 50 competitors use their creativity and haircutting skills to create the cut of their choice. Renowned industry professionals act as judges, declaring the winners based on creativity, technical quality and description.
“As the company enters its 34th year in business, it’s clear that Great Clips wouldn’t be where it is today without our strong system of dedicated franchisees. The people and passion behind Great Clips are the catalyst for continued success,” Caron said. “As we wrap up yet another successful convention, we’re feeling revitalized and refocused on making the biggest impact possible in every community we serve.”