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Consumer goods company Procter & Gamble wants to help people with household chores by doing their laundry. Its Tide brand is aiming to have more than 2,000 cleaning stores by the end of 2020, the company said in an online statement.
It plans to open a range of 24-hour stores, drop-off boxes in apartment buildings and retailers. It will also have vans that will collect and deliver to students on campuses. People using the drop-boxes can manage their laundry via the Tide Cleaners app, submitting cleaning instructions and their drop-box number, before they are notified when their washing is ready for collection.
The P&G brand already has several hundred Tide stores or drop-offs and has grown partly through acquisition. It bought on-demand cleaning service Pressbox in July 2018, a Chicago-based company started by two graduates in 2013. Texas firm MW Cleaners became a franchisee in May 2018.
"For many people, the closest laundry room is 20 floors down or 10 blocks down the street," said Sundar Raman, vice president of P&G's North American fabric care business, in an online statement. "Our goal with Tide Cleaners is to help people's increasingly busy lives revolve more around what matters, and less around their laundry."
Around 26 million American households already outsource their laundry, according to P&G's statement, and there are several new players in the market, such as Rinse, a start-up that could be a multi-billion dollar business, according to one of its early stage investors.
P&G wants interested consumers, franchisees and building managers to reach out for Tide to consider opening a location in their city. Dry cleaning franchise operators will pay a royalty fee of 6.5 percent of net sales to P&G, according to the Tide Dry Cleaners website. There are 125 Tide Cleaners standalone stores in 22 states, with the majority being family-owned franchises.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Texas firm MW Cleaners became a franchisee in May 2018.