Beth Nilssen
February 22, 2024 / Great News

Looking for a good retail location? Try “the mom factor”

When these former teachers from the Philadelphia area became Great Clips franchisees, they used a unique approach to find prime locations for their walk-in hair salons. They call it “the mom factor.”


Both Rob and Lori Titus have had long careers as educators. About a year before Rob, a public school principal, retired in 2022, they started investigating franchise ownership as second-chapter careers.


They planned it so that Rob and Lori would be co-franchisees; Rob would focus on business operations and Lori—especially after she retires from teaching in a few years—would concentrate on marketing and managing the front-of-house. The couple and their four children live in Gibbstown, New Jersey, near Philadelphia, so they looked for opportunities close to home.


“Great Clips quickly rose to our short list of possible franchisors,” said Rob. He liked the business model of a no-appointment hair salon franchise, the consumer- and franchisee-focused websites, and the resources provided to franchisees.


“What set us onto Great Clips is that everybody will always need haircuts, and it’s been a reputable brand for many, many, many years,” Lori said. As a long-time Great Clips customer, she appreciated the focus on customer service and reasonable prices. “Just having that personal touch with customers certainly went a long way with me.”


MORE: FRANCHISEE STORY: How a routine haircut led this retiree out of retirement


After being approved as franchisees, the Tituses began addressing two of the major factors in starting a successful business: financing your investment and finding a suitable location.


Rob and Lori were well-situated with the first factor. Decades ago, they started setting and meeting long-term financial goals, including paying off their mortgage and planning for their children’s education. They have savings to support their new venture, as needed.


“We’re very coupon-clipping people,” said Lori, adding that Great Clips coupons have been on their refrigerator door long before they decided to become Great Clips franchisees.


To tackle the second factor of finding the right location that would position their new walk-in hair salon for success, Rob started by working with Amy Blenker, the real estate manager for the Great Clips Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.


Amy advised him about what kinds of sites to look for and how to prioritize prospective locations based on the local business environment, and put him in touch with local experts. She and the real-estate team also pointed him to online resources provided by the corporate office where he could look up geographic and demographic data about various shopping areas.


“That support was a big part of our decision in choosing to go with Great Clips,” said Rob. “It’s an excellent system."


With the information from Great Clips, Rob took to the streets—literally. “I hopped in the car, drove around, and visited shopping centers or strip malls, where I chatted with people—sometimes awkwardly—in the parking lot. I asked them, ‘Where do you live? How far do you drive to get here?’”


After Rob winnowed down the possibilities, Lori joined Rob on the driving tours. That’s when she applied what she calls “the mom factor.”


“I look at locations from the point of view of a mom,” said Lori. “Convenience is key. I want to be able to drop the kids off for a haircut and then run next door to a Big Lots or a Shop Rite. I don’t want to have to go to one place for one thing, and then to two or three other shopping centers.”


Eventually, two salons in New Jersey passed Lori’s “mom-factor” test, both serving the greater Philadelphia area.


Before finalizing the leases, they conferred with Great Clips’ regional real estate experts to ensure the locations were suitable and received their endorsement. Rob and Lori are now working with the various Great Clips, Inc. teams that support new franchisees—operations, facilities & purchasing, IT, and more—as they plan to open their first salon in Spring 2024.


MORE: FRANCHISEE STORY: 3 reasons this entrepreneur chose Great Clips over another franchise


It doesn’t surprise Lori that she and Rob are loving their lives as Great Clips franchisees.


“We were Great Clips customers for 20 years. We know how convenient it is to get a haircut because of the locations, the Online Check-In app, the way they care for their customers, the coupons and reasonable prices, Clip Notes—everything! The only thing that’s changed is that now we get to deliver all those great services to our customers!”


If you want to know more about what it might look like to build a successful hair-salon franchise business, give me a call. I’d love to talk to you.


MORE: Is Great Clips right for you?


Beth Nilssen

Director of Franchise Development | Great Clips, Inc.
800-947-1143 | [email protected]

Beth Nilssen By Beth Nilssen on February 22, 2024
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