Great Clips Opens Toronto for Franchise Sales; Plans 15 Salons in 2009 and Projects More Than 200 New Salons

National Franchise Also Announces Grand Opening of Aurora Salon on September 13

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 9 /CNW/ -- Great Clips, Inc., the largest no-appointment hair salon brand in North America, is rapidly expanding its footprint with today's announcement that Toronto is now open for franchise sales. More than 200 salons are projected for the greater Toronto area and 15 new salons are expected to open by the end of 2009.

Great Clips plans to expand throughout the "Golden Horseshoe," including the cities of Toronto, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Burlington, Guelph, Brampton, Mississauga, Newmarket, Markham, and Oshawa, among others.

Currently, Great Clips operates one salon in Oakville at 2525 Prince Michael Drive in the Shoppes at Dundas and announced today the Grand Opening of their second salon in Aurora on September 13, 2008. The Aurora salon will be located at 91 1st Commerce Drive in the Smart Centre. Additional salon openings are slated between now and mid-2009 in Oshawa, Stouffville, Markham, Mississauga and Brampton. With more than 200 salons projected in the future, this will result in approximately 2,000 full-time and part-time jobs for hair care professionals in the greater Toronto area.

Great Clips' Toronto launch is part of an aggressive growth strategy, which includes expanding in existing markets while entering new cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company currently operates more than 50 salons in the western Canadian provinces, with plans to focus on expanding its presence in the eastern provinces. In total, Great Clips plans to open more than 300 salons globally in 2008 and 2009.

"As the Great Clips brand continues to develop throughout North America, we're now looking for business professionals in and around Toronto seeking a moderate-risk, steady growth business with strong cash flow and a relatively low investment requirement. Most of our franchisees keep their professional job while building their Great Clips business on the side," said Rob Goggins, vice president of franchise development, Great Clips, Inc. "This business concept has proven to be recession resistant, simple and enjoys steady growth. After just five years, our average franchisee owns five to six salons. Entrepreneurs will be hard pressed to find a better business model that meets all of these criteria."

Great Clips offers franchisees a cash-based business with no receivables and manager-run locations. According to Goggins, its 26-year positive track record is due in part to the extensive local support provided to franchisees, such as local corporate support staff and an area training center. No haircare experience is required for potential franchisees, who should possess strong people management skills, a personal net worth starting at $300,000 and liquid assets of at least $40,000, as well as a business management background.

"As we've already done in the western provinces, we look forward to bringing affordable, quality haircuts in a comfortable, friendly salon to the greater Toronto area and to being an integral part of the community," added Goggins.

In its 26 years, Great Clips has grown from four salons, the first sprouting up aside the University of Minnesota campus, to more than 2,700 dotting the landscapes in Canada and the United States. In 2008, Entrepreneur magazine ranked Great Clips, Inc. No. 1 in the haircare category of its "Franchise 500" list and 19th overall among more than 3,000 franchise concepts.

About Great Clips

Great Clips, Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., is North America's largest franchisor under one brand in the $55 billion-a-year hair care industry. Established in 1982, Great Clips perfected a system for delivering competitively priced, high quality haircuts to men, women and children in a no-appointment atmosphere. The company began franchising in 1983, and today, nearly 2,700 Great Clips salons operate in more than 130 markets across the U.S. and Canada. Great Clips salons are open evenings and weekends. For additional franchising information, please visit http://www.greatclipsfranchise.com/ or call 1-800-947-1143.

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