The Great Clips® Advantage

A Great Story - Our History

  • 1982
    The Minnesota Roots

    The Minnesota Roots

    Great Clips, Inc. officially incorporates on July 12. Later that year, on Sept. 22, founders Steve Lemmon and David Rubenzer open the first Great Clips salon near the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.
  • 1983
    Ray Barton

    Meet Ray and his Vision

    Future CEO and Chairman of the Board Ray Barton joins the company, bringing his franchising expertise to the business. First franchisees Mary Lou Barton and Roger and Marylu Ledebuhr open the first franchised Great Clips salon in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, attracting customers to their grand opening with bicycle giveaways and 50 free haircuts.
  • 1985
    Milestone Marker

    100+ salons!

  • 1987

    Rhoda joins Great Clips

    Future President and CEO Rhoda Olsen joins Great Clips, Inc. as VP, Human Services at a time when the company was a regional chain of 180 salons. She would help lead the company to becoming the largest haircare brand in the world.
  • 1988
    Franchised Firsts

    Great Haircut Sale

    Great Clips promotes its first Great Haircut Sale.
  • 1993
    Milestone Marker

    First Great Clips salon in Canada

  • 1994
    Milestone Marker

    $100M total system sales

  • 1997
    Milestone Marker

    1,000+ salons!

  • 1998
    Great Clips NASCAR racecar

    Racing with NASCAR

    Great Clips launches a promotional partnership with NASCAR. For almost 20 years, Great Clips would sponsor fan-favorite drivers, including superstars Kasey Kahne and Jason Leffler.

  • 2002
    Great Deeds logo

    Great Needs. Great Deeds.

    Great Clips introduces its community outreach and giving program, Great Needs. Great Deeds., to support causes in communities where its customers, franchisees, salon staff, and partners live and work.
  • 2003
    Milestone Marker

    2,000+ salons!

  • 2004
    Milestone Marker

    $500M total system sales

  • 2006
    Relax. You’re at Great Clips

    Relax. You’re at Great Clips

    Great Clips unveils its Relax salon design and opened its 2,500th salon.
  • 2007
    Sudz in front of a salon

    Walk Right In

    Great Clips launches the “Walk Right In” campaign and introduces Sudz, everyone’s favorite shampoo bottle mascot!
  • 2009
    busy great clips salon

    Largest haircare brand in North America

    At 2,795 locations, Great Clips becomes the single largest haircare brand in North America, with a nearly 50% market share of all franchised hair salon units.
  • 2011
    Customer using online check in

    Great technology

    Great Clips becomes a leader in using technology to enhance the customer experience, including the industry-changing Online Check-In and Clip Notes®

  • 2011
    Salon staff receiving Guinness Word Record for most consecutive haircuts

    Breaking records

    A Great Clips salon in Springfield, Ohio sets the Guinness World Record for most consecutive haircuts—392!
  • 2011
    Milestone Marker

    3,000+ salons!

  • 2013
    Milestone Marker

    $1B+ total system sales

  • 2014
    Clips of Kindness logo

    Clips of Kindness

    Great Clips begins Clips of Kindness, a systemwide program throughout North America, to provide complimentary clipper cuts to customers facing hair loss due to cancer treatments.
  • 2016
    customer getting a haircut

    Same great haircut at any salon

    Great Clips becomes the first salon brand to launch a global customer database that ensures customers get the same great haircut at all Great clips salons in the U.S. and Canada.
  • 2016
    Milestone Marker

    4,000+ salons!

  • 2017
    Mohawk Warrior monster truck

    The Mohawk Warrior

    Great Clips announces its promotional partnership with Monster Jam.
  • 2018
    great clips on the boards at an NHL game

    Influential sports partnerships

    Great Clips teams up with influential sports brands to connect with target customers: National Hockey League (Official Hair Salon of the NHL), Super Bowl LII (Polar Plunge sponsor to benefit Special Olympics Minnesota), and Tyler “Ninja” Blevins (Ninja’s Great Clips).

Great Technology

Great Clips leads the industry with technology that makes it easy for customers to choose Great Clips, and gives franchisees the tools they need to operate their businesses—anywhere, anytime.