Four months into his new role as president and CEO of the 116-location Chatters Salons in Canada, Greg Moreau has already started applying his years of apparel and luxury retail experience at Guess, Lucky Brands and Roots to support plans to help expand the leading salon brand’s presence across the country. Moreau spent much of his career growing Guess, Lucky Brands and Roots stores, online and global business. Early initiatives at Chatters include installing a new POS system at Chatters, revamping a loyalty and rewards program, and ramping up social media, focusing first on Chatters’ Instagram presence.
He’s also looking forward to connecting, sharing ideas and learning from new ISBN peers when he attends his first ISBN Conference this May 3-5 in San Diego. Moreau assumes the ISBN board spot vacated by former ISBN President and Chatters co-founder Jason Volk, who recently transitioned to director and chairman of Chatters.
Moreau says the bones of the Chatters organization is built on a franchisee model, so he sees his new role at Chatters and with ISBN as a great opportunity to learn—and to add value—given his past experience focused on corporate retail.
“We have amazing data at Chatters, and we’re gathering more,” Moreau says. “And it’s such an advantage to have Jason guide me as we integrate the new technology. He has a good feeling for the business and strong intuition.”
Chatters carries more than 6,000 beauty brands in stores and online, which Moreau says makes it the third largest distributor of professional hair care products in North America and the first in Canada. He sees lots of opportunity to use data and technology to differentiate Chatters’ product assortment per store, and to leverage luxury product trends demographically and geographically.
“We have a huge opportunity to grow our business, especially in the east,” Moreau says. Chatters is headquartered in Alberta, and the salon presence is traditionally stronger in the western provinces. There are 41 stores currently in Alberta and 25 in Ontario, for instance. Moreau says they are looking to close that gap.
One way to do so is to use data to customize and elevate the selection of retail brands offered to align with consumer demand, he says. “The luxury segment is consistently strong, and naturally positioned brands continue to trend. We’ll keep testing and adjusting our product assortment to be more customer centric.”
Moreau admits the service component of Chatters’ business is “brand new to me,” but he realizes how important it is.
“Retail is 60 percent of our business, and service represents a significant 40 percent,” he says. “It has been amazing to get to know our stylists, how they work behind the chair and what motivates them. We see lots of opportunity to identify the needs of both the apprentice and the experienced journeyman stylist to help them grow. We’re looking at new ways to reinvest and reengage. We’re asking ourselves how thoughtful we are in providing follow-up education, not just on technique but also things like consultation and utilizing social media. The onus is to provide more consistent training and to branch out.
Of 116 Chatters stores across Canada, 78 are corporate. Moreau says the financial plan calls for opening five more in 2020, and he notes the company is looking to acquire other salons and groups that are a good strategic fit.
“We have lots of room to grow in Canada,” he says.