The folks behind Panda Express, the ubiquitous Chinese fast food chain, and Proctor & Gamble--P&G the company who defines consumer package goods, are teaming up in the franchised dry cleaning business.
Procter & Gamble launched its dry-cleaners franchising venture a year ago and now has six outlets in Ohio and Kansas. They feature drive-through concierge service and customer access to 24-hour lockers and drop boxes, with cleaning machines looking like large orange boxes of Tide.
But the connection to the folks at Panda Express takes the business to a whole new level, with a partner who knows a thing or two about taking a fractured brand marketplace and pulling together a successful chain. For their part, Panda Express Co-Chief Executives Andrew and Peggy Cherng see the opportunity to bring the same chain-venue principle to clothes.
"There isn't any consolidation in this particular industry," Andrew Cherng said to The Los Angeles Times. "There is no McDonald's of dry cleaners. We see this as an opportunity."
The first of the franchised shops, under the name Tide Dry Cleaners, opened this week in Henderson, Nevada--a Las Vegas suburb. The company plans to open as many as 200 shops nationwide in the next five years.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the $9.2-billion dry-cleaning industry is made up of nearly 39,000 establishments across the country, according to the research group IBISWorld. The market is highly fragmented, with the top four companies generating 2.5% of total revenue. More than 90% of dry cleaners have only one facility.
Now that's what I call a green-field opportunity.