Edina-based salon chain has great expansion plan

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The Great Clips salon chain wants to expand and add between 250 and 260 additional franchises in 2014.

The Business Journal reported that the Edina-based company currently has 3,520 franchised outlets. The story said that Great Clips Chief Executive Officer Rhoda Olson wants to see existing franchise owners expand their salon holdings. She said she would like those business owners own 75 to 80 percent of the new units.

"We have a large group of franchisees with one or two units, and instead of getting a lot of new franchisees, we want to get those guys more units," Olson told the Business Journal.

Outlets have increased steadily in number, with the addition of 205 locations in 2012 and 235 more coming on line in 2013. Great Clips currently has 3,520 units nationwide and topped $1 billion in system wide sales last year. The company has had 37 consecutive quarters of same-salon sales growth, including during the recession. In 2009 as the economy struggled, ABC News had a story on "recession hair," which was regarded as an economic indicator. The story said when the economy was more uncertain, people were less well-coiffed and visited their stylist less frequently.

Great Clips has a history of supporting its franchisees. In 2012, the Star Tribune had a story about how Great Clips initiated a program to ease the transition when a family member -- often a son or daughter -- plans to take over a franchise.

"We will waive the transfer fee if it involves a family member," Olson said at the time. "We believe if people have a business they plan to hand down, they have a different focus, and we believe that is a better situation."

Great Clips opened its first franchise in 1982 at the University of Minnesota.

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