Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 26, 2010 09:29 AM
The Tides, they are a-changing…. Yes, P&G's Tide brand is now in the dry cleaning business. The pitch: if you can’t wash it in Tide, dry-clean it instead!
The brand extension began in Kansas City in 2008, when Agile Pursuits Franchising Inc., a Procter & Gamble subsidiary, opened three Tide-branded stores on a trial basis.
Agile wasn't a newcomer to the branded franchise game; they ‘wet their feet’ with a Mr. Clean brand car wash business in 2007 which is now up to 16 locales, with seven more in the works, and turf that stretches from Ohio to Texas.
Jeff Wampler, GM of Tide Dry Cleaners, says the dry-cleaning biz was a natural move for P&G.
“Entering the franchise and service market is a model we find very attractive, as shown by the Mr. Clean Car Wash operations. Expanding our interests into the services industry helps us to reach more consumers’ lives with outstanding service we know consumers are looking for and need.”
When the first store opened, Tide launched a dedicated website with this statement: "We've heard from many consumers that dry cleaning is often an unsatisfying process and given Tide's expertise and history in cleaning, we felt it was the right step to expand our technology and services into the dry cleaning industry."
The U.S. dry cleaning business rakes in $8 billion in annual sales. It’s an equally big investment to enter the business – an initial investment can run anywhere from $652,000 to $897,000 per location, plus a $50,000 franchise fee.
Tide’s next stores will be in Columbus, Ohio, near P&G’s Cincinnati headquarters, and Atlanta, with single and multi-unit franchise opportunities available in Dayton, Ohio, Northern Kentucky; and Lexington, and Cincinnati. (Interested? You can sign up here.)
Every store will have drive-through drop-off and pick-up, lockers, GreenEarth processing, a rewards program, and 15-20 store employees.
Tide is banking on its brand reputation of “60 years of fabric care experience,” as its key selling proposition, as the “Tide name gives your franchise instant recognition and trust with customers… take advantage of the brand that practically sells itself.”
Let’s just hope they keep that Tide fresh scent.