Greg Moreau is president and CEO of Chatters.
Tell me a bit about Chatters. What do you specialize in?
Moreau: Chatters is the largest distributor and retailer of professional hair care goods in Canada, and the third largest in North America with a 60/40 business of retail to service.
From products to service, our specialty is making customers “Style Happy.” We are always looking at ways to evolve with our clientele and inspire them to look good, feel good and do good with each style.
Plus, we’re proud to show our customers that we are an environmentally-sustainable company that they can trust. In fact, every Chatters store is a certified Green Circle Salon, meaning we divert 95 per cent of our waste.
What’s the history of the company? When did it start and where? How many locations currently? How many in Alberta and Saskatchewan?
Moreau: Chatters is 100 per cent Canadian owned and operated. Chatters first began as a Regina-based retail salon concept founded by a Canadian hairdresser who opened his fourth location in Red Deer in the early 1990s. A few years later, two Canadian entrepreneurs from Red Deer and Regina partnered up to open Chatters salons in smaller cities and then began expanding into major Canadian markets.
Fast forward to today – we now have 116 Chatters salons across Canada, including 41 locations in Alberta and 12 in Saskatchewan. We’re thrilled that this allows us to provide jobs for over 1,600 Canadians who are passionate about our brand and industry.
What would you say differentiates yourself from competitors?
Moreau: It’s the Chatters experience – we’re 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. This includes being first-to-market by introducing digitally native-brands to our extensive retail selection.
Not only are we a reliable retailer for on-trend brands, we go a step further to meet our customer’s needs, including offering our in-house brand, Kenneth Bernard. The brand’s tools and products have been crafted based on listening to the feedback from our stylists and clients. We intend to keep the momentum going – we will react to our clients wants and needs and deliver the brand experience they know and love.
What are the company’s plans for the future and expansion?
Moreau: Our goal is to elevate our customer experience for both the online and brick-and-mortar consumers.
With our most recent acquisition of Enviro Trends, we’re expanding our reach of styling perfect hair from Western Canada to new regions of Ontario.
Our main vision for 2020 is to provide a seamless omni-selling experience by launching a brand-new POS system and revamping our loyalty and membership programs.
Plus, we’re looking forward to announcing additional store acquisitions and different program launches. There’s going to be plenty of great hair days over the coming months.
What trends are you seeing in your industry and what are consumers looking for in the hair salon business?
Moreau: Millennials are the trend-setters and are looking for recognizable brands, particularly ones that are sustainable and tailored for their hair type. We noticed significant traffic increases on our website from this particular demographic shopping for our globally-recognized brands specifically.
Of course, one trend that’s here to stay is the fact that the most loyal relationship consumers have in retail is the one they have with their stylist! That defines the essence of Chatters. Our clients trust our team for professional products and services. They continue to be our motivation to strive for the most inclusive shopping experience to suit any style and any hair-care need.
Interviewed by Mario Toneguzzi, a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.