Chatters Hair Salon Chain Launches Aggressive Expansion

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Chatters, a leading Canadian hair salon chain, has aggressive plans to expand its footprint across the country, which now includes 116 locations in seven provinces.

Recently, the company acquired Ontario-based Enviro Trends and its five locations. Current locations for Chatters include: 26 in British Columbia, 41 in Alberta, 10 in Saskatchewan, seven in Manitoba, 25 in Ontario, four in Newfoundland, and three in Nova Scotia.

Greg Moreau, the newly appointed President and CEO of the Red Deer, Alberta-based company, has a mission to put Chatters on the map as a nationally-acclaimed Canadian success story.

PHOTO: KINGSWAY MALL

“It’s time to share the Chatters story. Fundamentally, it’s about our guests and our teams. You look at any study, and you’ll see that one of the most loyal relationships consumers have in retail is the one they have with their stylist. That defines Chatters,” he said.

“More than 35 per cent of our market is based in Alberta. We’re certainly putting a push on to be able to grow in Ontario. We’re currently at 25 stores in Ontario. We have actually a good penetration. We have seven salons now in Ottawa. We’ve done a good job of filling that marketplace. Now we’re looking in Ontario. We’re going to close that gap as quickly as we can on having 41 in Alberta and only 25 in Ontario. With the population base being what it is, we feel there’s a great opportunity to grow.

“My strategy in terms of growth in Ontario is to work with the major landlords – the Cadillac Fairviews, the Ivanhoe Cambridges, the Oxfords – to be able to expand our brand presence. And we’re looking not only through the traditional leasing measures but also we’ll continue to be open for business on acquisition.”

Chatters Twitter

The company uses Oberfeld Snowcap for its real estate needs in enclosed malls and JLL for its outdoor portfolio in western Canada.

Chatters offers a full-service hair salon, but Moreau said the point of differentiation from other similar businesses is that it is the third largest distributor of professional hair care goods in North America and single largest in Canada.

Moreau said the business is about 60 per cent retail on average and 40 per cent services.

“As we prepare to grow, we are laser-focused on listening to our customers, better anticipating their needs, elevating our in-store experience and curating an assortment of the best beauty and hair care products in the world. We’re making significant investments in technology to accomplish our goals: launching a new POS system, and revamping our loyalty and membership programs to provide a seamless omni-selling experience – set to launch in 2020,” said Moreau, who has previous executive retail experience at Roots, Guess and Lucky Brand.

“Our core customer is about 80 per cent female, 20 per cent male. Certainly a professional woman. A lot of families and that is one of the wonderful things we see. And we certainly do have the dads in our kind of barber business as well as young kids that will come in with their moms. We can hit the entire demographic of the whole family. But I’d say the core is really the 30 to 55 year old woman. It is interesting because we are putting more focus now especially with our great value proposition, with our pricing, we’re putting more emphasis on our chatters.ca and there our highest demographic is the 24 to 35 year old woman. We certainly see a Millennial and a younger audience there. We’re also seeing that in our social media. For a Canadian company that was western based we have over 100,000 followers on Facebook which is a good number and we put a lot of emphasis on Instagram and the last two months we’ve picked up more than 5,000 followers and again in that younger and important demographic.”

In-store and online, Chatters carries over 6,000 hair care products covering 80 per cent of all top professional brands in the world, including world-class names like Redken, UNITE, DevaCurl, Pureology, Moroccan Oil, and more.

All Chatters locations are certified Green Circle Salons, diverting 95 per cent waste.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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