Regis Corp. announced Thursday that it is eliminating 290 administrative and support positions throughout the U.S. and Canada.

“Although this phase of our transformation is certainly difficult, it is necessary to properly allocate capital and human resources to support investments in our rapidly growing franchise business,” Chief Executive Hugh Sawyer said in a statement.

The company is turning away from owning its own salons to a franchise model. The speed at which those transfers are taking place has occurred faster than anticipated, which allowed the reductions to take place earlier in the year.

In 2017, Regis started implementing the shift, and it accelerated last year. By the end of October, about 64% of Regis’ approximately 7,100 salons were owned by franchisees, up from 28% two years earlier.

The plan encountered a setback this month when it reclaimed hundreds of salons from a California operator.

The company expects to save $18.7 million in annual expenses as a result of the layoffs.

Minneapolis-based Regis owns or operates salons under several names, including Supercuts, SmartStyle, Cost Cutters, Roosters and First Choice Headquarters.