GREENBELT, Md. – ZIPS Cleaners – an aggressively expanding dry cleaning franchise known for its same-day, one-price business model – has signed a franchise agreement for eight stores to be opened in the Charlotte, North Carolina market.

The development deal has been signed with Visesh and Vishal Velagapudi. The brothers gained their interest in franchising after learning from their father, a longtime restaurant entrepreneur. They wanted to pursue the family tradition of being a business owner and saw ZIPS as an opportunity to own something rather than work for something. Vishal has over 10 years of experience in the restaurant business and plans on using his knowledge to help grow the brand’s presence throughout the Southeast markets. Visesh spent the early years of his career as the Director of Pharmacy for a national health institute. Now he focuses his time sharing his love of real estate investing with a real estate partnership in the Charlotte area.

“The ZIPS franchise opportunity aligned with our vision of joining and expanding a successful and proven franchise model such as ZIPS into the Charlotte, North Carolina market. Charlotte presents a unique business opportunity to tap into a market where ZIPS can truly be a disruptor and bring the brand’s unparalleled consumer proposition to life! One low-price, same day service and the complete range of garment care options will allow consumers to enjoy the benefits of ZIPS that Mid-Atlantic customers have enjoyed for the last 20 years. We are excited to bring ZIPS to Charlotte,” said Visesh.

ZIPS Cleaners’ successful business model is based on a concept revolutionary to the industry and clearly in high demand to today’s price-savvy consumer – dry cleaning that is ready for pick-up the same day it’s dropped off for a flat-rate price of $2.99 per item. It doesn’t matter if the item is a necktie, a coat, or a pair of pants; the price is $2.99, 60% less than the local and national average. ZIPS offers a complete range of garment services, including wash n fold, alterations, household items, and dry cleaning and pressed laundry services. Additionally, in today’s increasingly “green-conscious” society, ZIPS is leading the way in employing new environmentally friendly practices, such as its use of Hydrocarbon, a more eco-friendly and less aggressive drycleaning solvent than the more commonly used Perchloroethylene (or “PERC”). ZIPS also recycles thousands of hangers each year, uses 100% recyclable plastic bags, and focuses on continuing to reduce water usage and waste production.

“Visesh and Vishal share a passion gained from their father for creating consumer businesses that provide unparallel value to consumers. The brothers have a history of building successful businesses and bring an entrepreneurial spirit to ZIPS. We look forward to assisting Visesh and Vishal in helping us continue to grow the ZIPS brand in markets across the country,” said ZIPS CEO Drew Ritger. “We know they are going to be incredibly dedicated franchise partners who will be great ambassadors for our brand. We have no doubt that they will find great success in Charlotte, and we are excited to watch them help grow our brand.” The expansion announcement comes at a time when ZIPS Cleaners continues to rapidly expand its national footprint. Today, ZIPS has 68 locations open and operating throughout 10 states and Washington, D.C. The company also has a total active franchise pipeline that stands at more than 250 stores, all of which are slated to open over the next several years.