With a flurry of franchise deals and record sales, ZIPS Cleaners is on a roll—and the best is yet to come.

“We expect ZIPS to be a recognizable and profitable national brand by 2030 with sales approaching $1 billion annually,” estimates Drew Ritger, chief executive officer of ZIPS franchising.

In the meantime, the Greenbelt, Maryland-based brand, known for its revolutionary one-price, same-day strategy, is growing with gusto.

ZIPS has a burgeoning development pipeline. The brand, which operates 55 stores in six states, along with Washington D.C., has inked franchise deals for more than 200 locations, with plans to make its presence known in 10 states by the end of next year, and double that number in 2020.

“ZIPS has received phenomenal interest during the past year from potential investors and the concept is considered the best in the garment care business by a number of franchise publications,” Ritger notes. “We are humbled by the recognition and investment, and believe the brand is well positioned for growth to provide superior returns to our franchisees in the days ahead.”

Ritger is a proven multi-brand veteran leading the expansion charge sharply focused on strategic growth. In the past year alone, ZIPS has entered the new markets of Texas and California, with Florida, Indiana, Oregon, and Ohio on deck. Along with existing market expansion, target markets for future new growth include Atlanta, Raleigh, and Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Denver, Chicago, and Minneapolis. Over the next few years, Ritger expects to build ZIPS into a national brand, with a $1 billion future. Other goals Ritger outlines include:

  • 100 stores and $150 million in annual sales
  • store count growth that exceeds 25 percent after 2021
  • a development pipeline of over 350 stores
  • No. 1 Market Share in each market

To reach those goals, ZIPS is hitting the road to growth with experience. The brand is expanding with existing franchisees and new, seasoned multi-unit operators, says Ritger.

“This is encouraging, as it expresses faith in the business, brand, and market segment going forward,” Ritger notes. “We are also pleased that our current franchise base is reinvesting in the brand in our core markets. ZIPS is a market disruptor that is well positioned to gain market share in the markets where we invest.  It is exciting to see other experienced multi-unit franchisees accept our strategy and invest in the brand.”

Founded in 1996, ZIPS launched franchising a decade later, shaking up the dry cleaning industry and saving consumers considerable cash, with its one-price-for-any-garment business model. Whether the item is a necktie, coat, or a pair of pants, the price is $2.99, 60 percent less than the national average. Garments are cleaned on-site, allowing for same-day service. ZIPS profit margins are among the best in the country, in an industry with exceptional margins, notes Ritger.

“We attribute much of our success to the almost 300 years of combined dry cleaning experience that our investors bring to the single price, value-oriented segment of the market in which we operate,” Ritger says.

ZIPS also leads the way in the search for new environmentally friendly practices. The franchise recycles thousands of hangers each year, uses 100 percent recyclable plastic bags, and is always looking for strategies to reduce water usage and waste production.  Consumers are embracing the innovative brand.

“ZIPS has used process and equipment innovation to improve margins in new and existing stores in the past year, so we are encouraged to see these initiatives yield improved returns and, at the same time, increased customer service,” Ritger says. “Overall, the brand is healthy and growing, while the business is experiencing record sales.”

By Helen Bond

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