ZIPS Dry Cleaners CEO Wants to See your Dry Cleaning Bill
Drew Ritger wants to see your dry cleaning bill, go ahead take it out and see how much it cost to get your jacket or shirt cleaned.
Ritger, the CEO of ZIPS Franchising, loves to ask people this question, and then tell them to cross out all the prices and replace them with $2.29. Yes, the shirt, the blouse, the jacket, the dress—all of them for $2.29. This isn’t just a weird math exercise for Ritger, that’s the price for cleaning any item with no hidden asterisks at ZIPS Dry Cleaners.
“That is about 60 to 65 percent cheaper than anything else you’ll find,” said Ritger during the 2018 Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference.
That low price and a guarantee that any items in by 9 a.m. will be ready for pickup by 5 p.m. are at the core of consumer experience for ZIPS. With the 54 locations, Ritger said the company has saved customers $1 billion in dry cleaning costs. That’s some easy marketing for dry cleaning consumers.
And for the nascent franchising push, the core is a $1.25 million AUV and net income of $363,633 (32.3 percent) is an easy pitch for prospective franchisees and has helped build out “about 200 stores in our pipeline,” said Ritger.
He said they’re taking on a fragmented industry that is largely family-owned businesses that have spotty results and a few large dry cleaning brands. Apart from the restaurant industry, that’s pretty unique for an industry that reaches $450 billion annually.
Of course to add up the more than 545,000 clothing items that make up that topline sales figure means a very high-volume business.
“It’s a unique industry, not particularly difficult but there’s not a lot of people in it. So our idea is that we’ll have to teach you the business then teach you how to make high-volume lower price dry cleaning work,” said Ritger.
Essentially, the locations are a light-industrial clothing-cleaning factory with a retail storefront. He’s looking to continue growing from the core D.C. market in concentric circles to maintain a high level of franchisee support, adding that there is a lot of white space.
“When you have 54 stores, pretty much the whole country is open,” said Ritger.