At the end of the month, Great Clips Inc. will reach a milestone: 48 consecutive quarters of growth in same-store sales.

The Bloomington-based hair salon chain this week celebrated another milestone in the opening of its 4,000th salon, in suburban Detroit.

The continuous growth in the increasingly competitive industry, during times of slow economic growth, helps give franchisees confidence to open more salons and in more markets, said Rhoda Olsen, CEO of the privately held company.

It has taken five years for Great Clips to grow from 3,000 to 4,000 salons.

"Our goal is to shorten the timeline between those milestones," Olsen said. "We'd like to get to 5,000 now in four years and 6,000 within three years after that."

She predicts the potential for Great Clips is about 10,000 salons if market penetration equals or exceeds that of the Twin Cities. So far 26 of the 180 markets where Great Clips operates have met that goal.

The 4,000th salon is also the fourth Great Clips salon for franchisees Brian and Christie Czopek, and they have plans to open at least one more.

"We're honored to open the 4,000th salon and continue to grow this business because Great Clips provides the support and guidance to expand with confidence," Christie Czopek said in a statement.

There are no corporate salons. All of them are owned by the company's more than 1,200 franchisees throughout the United States and Canada. Together they employ more than 40,000 stylists.

"It's the franchisees that open the salons," Olsen said. "If we provide them great services, tools and resources, they'll keep opening salons."

As far as the 12 years of consistent quarterly sales growth, "I think we have learned a balance between the new unit growth with that same salon store growth," she said.

Olsen projects that Great Clips will have about $1.3 billion in total systemwide sales by the end of this year, up approximately 7 percent from 2015.

The corporate staff also is growing, and now is at 240 employees. More employees have been added to the company's field support operation and to the technology and business intelligence teams, Olsen said.

Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926