News of ZIPS’ planned expansion in Raleigh follows the announcement earlier this year of an eight-unit deal with a separate group for the Charlotte area. The Raleigh stores will be the first ZIPS units for the Cappellos and mark the first development commitment secured under the leadership of President/CEO Bob Barry, who joined ZIPS this past May.
“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,” Barry says. “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, whose background includes 30 years in commercial real estate with a focus on retail, will oversee development and day-to-day operation of the ZIPS business. A loyal ZIPS customer during his time living in the Philadelphia area, he was surprised upon moving to North Carolina in early 2018 to find that there were no affordable dry-cleaning options.
“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.”
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 strategic 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 quick turnaround and low 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 explains. “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.”