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IMAGE: SmartStyle Salon
The omnipresent, go-to name in haircare franchising has been making some big moves to diversify its portfolio.
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Regis Corporation has always been a big player in the haircare franchising world. Having started as Kunin Beauty Salon in 1922, the business rebranded as Regis in 1958, which began its acquisition of haircare centers and salons that propelled the Regis name to international notoriety. Brands within the Regis portfolio include Supercuts, Cost Cutters, First Choice HairCutters, and Roosters; taking the Regis name to countries like Canada, the U.K., and Puerto Rico.
Today, Regis Corporation owns, franchises, or holds ownership interests in approximately 8,000 locations; 121 of which have now been sold to Yellowhammer Salon Group.
The Yellowhammer Salon Group story is entwined with Regis, as its founder and CEO, Browning Thornton, has been a Regis franchisee since 2016. Prior to this, Thornton was an Apache helicopter pilot and company commander in the U.S. Army.
“Browning’s impressive background of military leadership, paired with his experience as a franchisee, give us confidence that together we can grow and strengthen our SmartStyle brand,” said Eric Bakken, executive VP and president of franchising at Regis Corporation.
Browning Thornton added: “Our company mission is to build life-enhancing relationships with employees, guests, and communities. We look forward to partnering with Regis to make this come to life.”
The franchised SmartStyle salons to be operated by Yellowhammer Salon Group join more than 2,000 SmartStyle locations across the U.S. and Canada. Units are typically located inside Walmart Supercenters, and are designed to serve busy, value-conscious shoppers.
Hugh Sawyer, president and CEO of Regis Corporation, said of the agreement: “Expanding relationships with strong franchisees, like Browning and the Yellowhammer Group, are enabling us to execute our multi-year strategic transformation to an asset-light franchise portfolio that [we] believe will prove to be the in the best long-term interests of our shareholders.”
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