Why Oxxo Care Cleaners Invites an Independent Franchisee Association
"If we have to take some lickings, we’ll take them," said Salomon Mishaan, founder of Oxxo Care Cleaners, about inviting franchisees to form an independent association.
Most franchisors abhor (or at least dislike) when their franchisees want to form an association independent of corporate influence—they envision calls for management heads to roll like last year in the Jack in the Box system, or lawsuits about price gouging like last week at Tim Hortons. The founder of Oxxo Care Cleaners, however, is exhorting franchisees to do so.
A franchise advisory council operated by the franchisor was turning out “like a town hall meeting,” with many franchisees showing up, even those not on the council, and bringing up all kinds of individual issues rather than top priorities, said Salomon Mishaan, founder of Oxxo. “So we said, OK, If that’s what you need, we recommend you open your association and you have a direct voice with us and we’re willing to listen.”
He’s spoken to some franchisees who “were happy to hear it,” he said. “They really didn’t feel that well represented by the franchise advisory council. For this they have no excuse. If we have to take some lickings, we’ll take them. We’re here to help our franchisees and make them successful.”
He acknowledged his is an unusual step. “That’s why we’re doing something completely out of the box,” he said. “But we have enough confidence. There always are some defunct franchisees that are unhappy, but we feel if they get together, the unhappy ones will see the happy ones and they’ll find a happy medium.”
Cost of an Oxxo Care Cleaners franchise is $450,000 to $500,000 for a full plant that can feed several drop-off stores. A drop-off store alone, which can be serviced by a nearby plant, costs $150,000, and Mishaan thinks the latter model is promising because of its lower price point.
Another promising venture is the placement of Oxxo lockers in large rental communities, where customers can put their clothing for pickup and return. Oxxo has purchased a locker company and is testing the idea in corporate stores. “We have to learn how to do it” before rolling it out.
The first Oxxo store opened in 2002 and started franchising “almost from the beginning,” he said. The brand has eight units in Indonesia and 60 units in the United States. The brand uses environmentally safe GreenEarth solvents and offers traditional hand-ironing, targeting a higher-end customer who will pay an average of $7 or $8 per item for dry cleaning, and $3 to $4.75 each for shirt laundry.