Since its founding in 1982, Great Clips Inc. (Minneapolis) has grown into one of North America's largest salon franchisors, with 2400 outlets in the U.S. and Canada. But to keep expanding, the company decided its nautical-themed salons needed some new wind in their sails.
Brought on board to help make that happen was Design Forum (Dayton, Ohio), which created a 1200-square-foot prototype in a strip center in Lakeville, Minn. Since the salon's floorplan is long and narrow, one of the designers' biggest challenges was to make the space as functional and appealing as possible. They started by creating an open entry area - a marked contrast from the chain's existing salons, where merchandise displays and the check-in, waiting and payment areas were bunched up near the entrance.
Another design priority was to liven up the waiting room, which was accomplished by installing a media wall hugged by seating-in-the-round. The media wall carries Great Clips' products and branding messages, and is also embedded with a flat-screen TV.
Marketing messages are also integrated into the salon's two-station check-in/payment counter, in the form of a curved menu board outlining available services. To soften the regimented arrangement of the salon's row of cutting stations, curving details on the floor and ceiling were added.
Gone are the salon stations' signature dividers, which were made of nylon sail cloth. "The new partitions bridge the old and the new by using semi-translucent panels with an energized graphic and color pattern that is triangular and reminiscent of the sail," says Scott Smith, Design Forum's senior vp, design and planning.
Client: Great Clips Inc., Minneapolis
Ann Latendresse, director, brand communications
Tom Schuenke, director, facilities and office services
Carmen Conley, facilities and purchasing specialist
Susie Lemoine, advertising manager
Design: Design Forum, Dayton, Ohio
Scott Smith, senior vp, design and planning
Architect: Krech, O'Brien, Mueller and Associates, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
General Contractor: ICS Construction, Minneapolis
Fixtures: Everbrite, Greenfield, Wis.
Farris Cos., Minneapolis
Flooring: Target Commercial Interiors, Minneapolis
Centiva by International Floors of America Inc., Florence, Ala.
Furniture: Belvedere USA, Belvidere, Ill.
Millwork: Belvedere USA, Belvidere, Ill.
Signage/Graphics and Wallcoverings: Everbrite, Greenfield, Wis.
Video, Electronics and Special Effects: Broadsign USA, Boise, Idaho
Photography: Duane Koshenina, TK Anderson Photography, Edina, Minn.