Regis is closing SmartStyle salons in 600 Walmarts

The Edina-based salon chain made the announcement Monday morning.
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The Essentials

1. Regis Corporation, the haircare chain based in Edina, has announced it will be closing 600 "nonperforming" Regis SmartStyle salons, which are located inside Walmarts, on Jan 31.

2. It will leave it with 2,000 other salons, also located within Walmarts, with the decision being taken "to improve shareholder value and position the company for long-term growth."

3. It's not been announced yet which SmartStyles will close, with Regis saying it will offer stylists and managers jobs at other locations, as it intends to grow the salons it's keeping.

What Else You Should Know

According to the Regis website, there are currently 39 SmartStyle salons at Walmart locations in Minnesota.

While the closing locations have not yet been revealed, it's probable that at least some of those affected will be in Minnesota.

Most of the state's SmartStyle salons are found in Walmarts outside of the Twin Cities. Salons in the metro area are located at Maple Grove, Blaine, Brooklyn Center, Burnsville, Lakeville and Shakopee Walmarts.

The Business Journal notes that Regis' move to close the company-owned locations comes after a period of months in which its sold 1,000 of its other salons to a private equity firm and hundreds more SmartStyle locations to franchisees.

It comes despite Congress recently passing a tax bill that will cut corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent, which is expected to significantly reduce major companies' bottom lines.

But CEO Hugh Sawyer said the decision is "consistent with our multi-year strategic plan" that will allow it to grow its remaining salons.

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Regis Corp. plans to trim hair salons and brands

The new Chief Operating Officer told the Star Tribune the Edina-based company will close less than 10 percent of its 7,500 company-owned stores. An exact figure or locations were not disclosed. Regis also plans to eliminate half of its 50 brand names and convert most of the affected salons. The struggling company wants to reduce costs and simplify its business model.