By now, the bankruptcy of Detroit is well-known territory. After the city announced in July 2013 that it would default on its $18 million debt—the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history—headline after headline cemented a familiar narrative within the public consciousness. “The Motor City Goes Bust,” USA Today announced. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times wrote, “Out of Money, Detroit Calls it Quits.”
But as the dust cleared over Detroit, the story on the ground began to change. Businesses both small and large started to move in and set up storefronts, creating a new city out of what was long dismissed as a wasteland. And building-by-building, idea-by-idea, and person-by-person, the once forlorn city is on track to reinvent itself.
Sport Clips is just one example of a business that isn’t afraid to root for the underdog. As the nation’s fastest-growing hair care franchise, this brand is excited by Detroit’s new effervescence. That’s why, Sport Clips is looking to target the Motor City for future development, and in doing so, they’re hoping to inject an extra spark of life into its economy.
To date, Sport Clips has four stores in Ferndale, Northville, New Hudson, and Ann Arbor, Michigan—cities that are 20 to 30 miles away from the city of Detroit, but still within the metropolitan area. According to Dave Wells, the director of franchising for Sport Clips, Detroit has been a notoriously tough market to crack into, but he’s hoping to make headway in the coming years.
“The entrepreneurial spirit that exists in Detroit has been around forever,” Wells said. “It’s a community built on entrepreneurs wanting other entrepreneurs to succeed because it brings more business and more people to the city.”
By opening a single Sport Clips unit, there will be a need to hire between eight to 12 stylists. Wells believes that in Detroit, there’s room to open upwards of 25 stores. This means that Sport Clips could potentially bring more than 250 jobs to the Detroit area.
Growth comes easy for Sport Clips, too. In the past four years, the company grew from 772 franchise units to 1,494. They have a presence in all 50 states. And since 2010, they’ve only had five store closings. For entrepreneurs looking to run their own business, Sport Clips is a recession-resistant model. Start-up requirements are relatively low--$200,000 liquid with $400,000 in net worth and a commitment to expand to multiple units.
Detroit’s landscape is also an untapped territory for starting a new business. This seamless barrier of entry is what often drives potential owners to open a business they are passionate about and fill an unmet need for the city.
“Investing in a franchise with a 20-year history of growth and success offers small business ownership opportunities and the ability to create jobs in communities across the country. Detroit will be a welcoming environment for franchisees who want to join the Sport Clips team, and we’re looking forward to helping the city’s economy, too. It’ll be a great symbiotic relationship,” Wells said.
To learn more about franchise opportunities with Sport Clips in Detroit, click here.