European Wax Center, the national chain that offers waxing services and beauty products, is making its public debut this week.

The chain is expected to debut on Thursday in a $175 million IPO, which would set its market capitalization at just over $1 billion. The company wasn’t always expected to find success — after starting out as a dysfunctional single location, then growing into a national chain, EWC has had a shaky post-pandemic year. The IPO represents a step forward in European Wax Center’s comeback, and the resurgence of the $18.7 billion waxing and nail salon industry as a whole as consumers flock back to in-person services.

Founded in 2004 by brothers Joshua and David Coba, European Wax Center began as an offshoot of a hair salon owned by the Cobas’ father. The original salon’s waxing service, located in Aventura, Florida, was something of a disaster, with underpriced services, messy wax, and mismanaged customer demand. David decided to open a center separate from the salon, and with the help of his brother, implemented new strategies that would streamline operations. In its first month the first European Wax Center posted a profit.

It wouldn’t be until 2008, however, that the Cobas would begin franchising, first with just a couple of locations per year, then growing to hundreds. In 2019, David, who had been acting as CEO from the beginning, handed the reins to David Berg, who had previously been the CEO of a global hospitality company.

The pandemic wasn’t kind to EWC — the company was forced to close stores temporarily, which led to a 33% drop in revenue in 2020. The company has since reopened and early reports show revenue bouncing back. If the IPO is a success, EWC’s enterprise value could top $1.2 billion.

According to our data, EWC currently has 853 locations in 44 states across the US. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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