Great Clips, the hair and style salon brand, has deployed Aerohive Networks’ solutions to provide Wi-Fi across its 3,800 branches in the USA and Canada. Great Clips can now deploy and manage its wireless infrastructure across a franchise model, while providing additional business insight and value for many salon owners.
Great Clips was set up in 1982 and has become the world’s largest hair salon brand in the US and Canada, where its franchisees employ 35,000 stylists. Great Clips offers its customers convenient haircuts with walk-in appointments, flexible hours, and the industry’s first online check-in service.
Like many retail companies, Great Clips was challenged to meet the Europay, Mastercard, Visa (EMV) standards ahead of the October 2015 deadline. It needed a networking solution to help meet the requirements for the EMV liability shift and security, as well as scale for future growth.
At the time, Great Clips had no standardised solution across salons and franchisees had deployed a variety of solutions, from off the shelf products to enterprise-class networks. It began looking for a wireless solution to standardise and unify its infrastructure to help ensure security across the entire system.
The company partnered with The Foundation, an IT services provider and Aerohive reseller, which administers a variety of IT functions and managed services for Great Clips to evaluate several enterprise wireless solutions, including technology from Aerohive, Cisco, Cradlepoint, and Meraki.
Great Clips chose Aerohive and has now deployed over 3,700 (to date) Aerohive BR200 branch routers across its locations. For simple, centralised network management across franchises, the company uses HiveManager in a private cloud, on premise configuration.
Since deploying Aerohive’s WiFi technology, Great Clips put in new credit card terminals to prepare for EMV standards. Salons can use iPads to access the Great Clips University app for video training modules. In addition, The Foundation leveraged Aerohive’s application visibility and control features to ensure salons get the bandwidth they need.
“Aerohive’s solid commitment to retail has been firmly established,” said Mari Fellrath, vice president of business intelligence and technology, Great Clips. “No other platform allowed us to both unify and segregate our franchisees, as well as provide the foundation for future in-salon technology innovation.”
“Aerohive not only provides a secure and robust wireless solution, but the built-in features and capabilities will provide a solid foundation as we expand services across the wireless network,” said Jennifer Huwe, manager of salon technology, Great Clips.