Franck Provost hair salon chain celebrates 10 years in Australia
Paris-born hairdressing franchise Franck Provost opened its first Australian salon in Sydney’s Macquarie Street in November 2008. A decdade on, Franck Provost Australia co-founder Jean-Franois Carr_ takes our Q&A…
1. Ten years ago did you envisage a solid, multi-salon group here?
JF: To be honest when we opened the first Franck Provost salon in Sydney we didn’t know what to expect.
This was supposed to be a pilot salon to see how the Franck Provost concept would work in the Australian market, and what may need to be adapted to the Australian tastes and habits. It’s obviously a blessing to now count a group of 15 salons 10 years later.
2. Looking back on the 10 year journey, what have been some of the most significant moments?
JF: The inauguration of the first salon for sure, in the presence of Franck Provost himself.
When we had the privilege to be the official hairstylist of some celebrities, VIPs and exclusive events, including Juliette Binoche, Olivia Newton-John, David Guetta, Louise Bourgoin, and also the Sydney Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival over the years.
When we opened the first Franck Provost franchised salon, in Crows Nest, which is now eight years old.
When we opened the first salon outside Sydney, a flagship salon inaugurating the new ‘Eiffel signature’ shop front concept, at the Emporium in Melbourne.
When Fabien and Olivia Provost, the children of Franck Provost who are now respectively artistic director and head of PR & communications, visited us for the first time together in March this year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the brand in Australia.
3. What lessons have you learned and what would you change?
JF: Probably the main lesson that we learnt is that for this type of venture to be successful, it’s crucial to keep surrounding yourself with partners and team members who share the same passion and will bring their heart and positive attitude to work everyday.
4. What changes have you noticed in Australian hairdressing and in the franchise business?
JF: When it comes to hair, we have noticed a slight shift in terms of tastes towards more natural, European looks. A good example of this has been the rise and success of the balayage highlighting technique that achieves more natural-looking highlights than foils, and that we were proud to be the pioneers of in Australia, like Mr Provost was a pioneer in France at the time.
In franchising, we have seen a shift towards the more established, serious, reliable franchises, which play it by the books, as opposed to the smaller, weaker franchises, which sometimes surf on ephemeral trends and disappear after a few years, leaving franchise partners alone and on their own.
5. How has the Franck Provost Australian operation developed during this decade?
JF: Those first 10 years have allowed us to launch, test, trial and adapt the Franck Provost concept to the Australian market, and set up a full support structure, systems and operational manual. We have now laid the foundation to develop a full network of salons in all major Australian cities.
6. What do you think are the key strengths of the Franck Provost brand and its network?
JF: Franck Provost salons are the only ones to provide true Paris style, glamour and savoir-faire in Australia, with two new collections per year introducing the latest trends and techniques from Paris, and make it accessible. Indeed we strongly believe that we provide the best possible value (quality/price ratio) in Australia.
7. If you could give some advice to yourself 10 years ago when you were about to create this empire in Australia, what would you say?
JF: Stick to the core business model, which is to find the right franchise partners to open new salons, who share the same passion and positive mindset. Only open new salons when the right opportunities arise, with the right partners.
8. What does the future hold for Franck Provost in Australia?
JF: Now that we have laid the foundation, lived and learnt the lessons we had to learn over the past 10 years, our goal is to stay focused on our core business model, opening new salons when we find the right franchise partners, and make Franck Provost Australia’s leading premium hair salon brand.
We believe there is probably a potential of between about 40 and 60 salons in all Australian major cities.