SAVAGE, Md. — ZIPS Dry Cleaners recently announced it has signed an agreement with a new franchisee group, RR2 Clean Raleigh LLC, to open 10 locations throughout Wake County, Durham County and Chapel Hill, N.C., within six years. The first location is expected to open in Spring of 2022.
The locations, which will be a mix of full-service and drop-off/pick-up satellite locations, will be operated by franchisees Ron and Rose Cappello of Apex, N.C
“We’re excited to have our first deal in place after a relatively quiet period brought on by the pandemic and our transition to new leadership,” says ZIPS President/CEO Bob Barry. “We’re very proud that we’ve remained viable and appealing throughout this chapter and look forward to celebrating with our franchisees as we spread across North Carolina and continue our aggressive expansion into other key markets throughout the country.”
Ron Cappello, who has 30 years of commercial real estate experience, will oversee development and day-to-day operation of the ZIPS business. Cappello saw an opportunity for opportunity after moving to North Carolina in 2018 and being disappointed by the dry cleaning options he found.
“We could not find any professional dry cleaner in the Raleigh area at a reasonable price similar to a ZIPS operation,” he says. “So, I contacted ZIPS and told them I was interested in developing their franchise operations here. There’s definitely a need for affordable, professional dry cleaning that appeals to all demographics and income levels.”
This expansion in Raleigh follows an announcement earlier this year of an eight-unit deal with a separate group for the Charlotte, N.C. area. The Raleigh stores will be the first ZIPS units for the Cappellos, and also mark the first development commitment secured under the leadership of Barry, who joined ZIPS this past May.
ZIPS’ Director of Business Development Abhi Parikh says the company is looking to expand into several other key areas of North Carolina as well as other U.S. markets. He explained that the company’s drop-store program, which lets franchisees who already have full-service ZIPS locations open satellite stores where customers can drop and retrieve their items with the same turnaround and prices as at full-service locations, will facilitate multi-unit growth in these markets.
“The drop store strategy brings us closer to more customers while enabling franchisees to expand into smaller locations with lower up-front equipment investment and streamlined staffing needs,” he says. “With our dual full-service/drop store offering, we’re making it easier than ever for growth-minded investors to expand quickly and cover a full market. We’re eager to find more ambitious investors to help grow our system and are currently seeking franchise partners in Winston-Salem and Greensboro in North Carolina, as well as in Texas, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and other parts of the country.”