MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Close to a year ago, Hair Cuttery‘s former owners filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after having to close all of the company’s salon locations. This naturally impacted the stylists who worked in those salons as well as their compensation. The bankruptcy followed years of changing consumer preferences, increased competition and existing organizational issues, which COVID-19 only exacerbated. Faced with an increasingly unpredictable future, coupled with what was about to happen to the entire world, timing could not have been worse for the former ownership. Just months later the world came to a startling halt upending businesses and people’s lives in the process. However, as dire as the situation seemed at the time, a new opportunity for Hair Cuttery was just around the corner.
In June 2020, and in the midst of the pandemic, HC Salon Holdings, led by CEO Seth Gittlitz, purchased the Hair Cuttery brand through an asset sale in the bankruptcy process and seized an opportunity to restore profitability to the struggling brand. Gittlitz and his team rebranded the company to operate as Hair Cuttery Family of Brands and focused the business on modernized technology, expanded marketing reach, and innovative initiatives. The new leadership eagerly accepted the challenge to transform and modernize the salon chain, with the intention of supporting its most important asset – its employees.
“To start, HC Salon Holdings conducted a comprehensive assessment of the assets and developed a plan to ensure the success of the new company following the transaction,” said Seth Gittlitz, CEO of Hair Cuttery Family of Brands. “The company worked to redefine how Hair Cuttery Family of Brands should operate in a post-COVID environment. To establish this strategy, we internally answered some important questions around guest experience, while also placing this company’s focus on employee engagement and satisfaction to ensure that working here is their best job ever.”
In addition to having an emphasis on “employee engagement,” HC Salon Holdings also focused its efforts on four main questions to help build the brand in a positive and sustainable way:
- Who are the brand’s most loyal customers and why?
- How can we enhance our customer experience across all touchpoints?
- Which locations are most profitable?
- Where can we leverage technology to transform the business?
To assist with answering these questions, the company engaged FTI Consulting, a business advisory firm that specializes in restructuring, business transformation, change management and employee engagement. In partnership with Hair Cuttery, FTI Consulting conducted an assessment of the operations and executed changes that had a positive impact on operations and profitability. Together, the team created an employee survey to better understand the areas where employees would be most receptive to change and where there were opportunities to build trust and bring employees along on the transition.
The survey found that employees were eager to return to work but were hesitant because of Covid-related safety concerns and a general uncertainty about what was to come under the new ownership. Because of this, HC Salon Holdings made employee engagement its top priority implementing a robust communication program that worked top-down with CEO-led town halls, across with constant updates regarding business operations, and from the bottom up via an advisory board that funnels employee concerns directly to the executive team. After several weeks, FTI Consulting conducted a second employee survey which concluded 75 percent of employees had confidence that new ownership would maintain the positive work environment, values and culture and 83 percent of employees trusted the new ownership to put the business on track for a successful future. This also created a 12 percent increase in employee confidence in the business, and a 17 percent increase in confidence among salon leaders.
Within four weeks of purchasing the assets, Hair Cuttery Family of Brands safely reopened 500-plus salons with strict health and safety measures and gave thousands of stylists their careers back. With the company on firm footing, financially and operationally, Hair Cuttery Family of Brands boasts tremendous opportunity for all salon professionals to grow and succeed into the future as the multi-brand company is one of the few businesses which offers a surplus of onboarding job opportunities in 2021 and beyond.
About Hair Cuttery Family of Brands
Hair Cuttery Family of Brands is the largest privately owned and operated chain of full-service hair salons in the United States, employing thousands of Salon Professionals in more than 500 company-owned locations on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Hair Cuttery Family of Brands consists of three premier brands: Hair Cuttery®, Bubbles®, and CIBU®. Hair Cuttery® is our signature brand, delivering best-in-class service at an affordable price. Bubbles provides an elevated salon experience using the finest selection of haircare products. CIBU is a high performance professional haircare and styling product line that uses color safe formulas and offers solutions for every hair type.
Hair Cuttery Family of Brands ensures that all Salon Professionals are BARBICIDE® certified and that its salon safety and sanitation practices adhere to the most recent CDC guidelines. More information at: www.haircuttery.com.
SOURCE Hair Cuttery