Name: Gregorio Hernansanz
Position: International Business Development Manager
WF: We heard a lot about Pressto dry cleaning franchise lately. It’s very well established in Spain and internationally. Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Bulgaria, Gibraltar, Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Morocco, African countries like Angola and Nigeria, Middle East in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, India and Australia. Pressto is what we call a true Global franchise. We would like to know more about your truly amazing expansion – but - first, could you tell us how it all started?
It was the year 1994 when Pressto opened its first dry cleaning and laundry shop in the city centre of Madrid, Spain. Since then, the evolution of the brand has been continuous, improving the business concept and leading successfully Pressto to all five continents with the peculiarity of achieving an overwhelming implementation in diverse countries with different cultures.
We started our international expansion in Mexico and, after the great success, we settled in Central and South America. We continued our international expansion in Europe, in particular in Portugal, Bulgaria and coming soon in Czech Republic and Slovakia. Pressto continued to grow in Africa and more recently in key Middle East markets. Besides, we operate in India, Australia, Southeast Asia and coming soon in Indonesia.
Thanks to the consolidated business model and adaptability to the needs of each country, the innovation in machinery and cleaning processes fully ecological, we have achieved a fast expansion that we will be increasing in the coming years. In fact this is an added value of Pressto, the adaptability, the capacity to standardize any process and cleaning system
WF: What’s the global number of Pressto dry cleaning stores today? How many of these are self-operated and how may are franchised?
Pressto dry cleaning and laundry franchise has implemented quickly, efficiently and profitable in the five continents thanks to our business concept that represents an attractive formula for entrepreneurs and investors. Pressto is present in the five continents in 25 countries with more than 500 stores all over the world. Accordingly, we operate 45 own branches in Spain and Mexico, being the rest of the shops of Pressto chain under the franchise system.
Thanks to our franchise formula, the risk of starting a business is reduced as Pressto offers to its master franchisees continuous support from all areas like technical, operations, training, international coordination, marketing, or IT, aiming to grant a reliable and efficient know-how. Besides, we provide ongoing advisory services to ensure all our innovations and cleaning processes are well implemented worldwide as well as accessing to Pressto exclusive´s group of machinery and products suppliers.
WF: As I said, that’s quite amazing. Pressto looks like one of the most successful dry cleaning franchises in the world. What’s the secret?
Pressto success basically remains in its continuous innovation and development. Daily research combined with an exhaustive analysis of the customer and dry cleaning necessities provides the guidelines to invest in cutting-edge technologies and improved processes.
Consequently, Pressto has been able to offer an excellent customer experience becoming the dry cleaning and laundry chain leader in the markets where we operate. We are the only brand that offers the “Cleaning Boutique” concept, from which we do not only offer the usual dry cleaning services but also we offer an extensive range of additional services such as bags and accessories cleaning, shoe cleaning and repair, clothing alterations and repairs, leather cleaning, home delivery service through our exclusive mobile App, besides to a refreshed image concept.
WF: Could you share your expansion plans for the next 5-10 years? Which countries are in your radar right now?
Nowadays, Pressto expansion strategy is to continue developing the brand in all those territories where we have recently arrived in Middle East such as Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE and Oman, among others.
In addition, we will continue expanding our franchise in South East Asian markets. In fact, we operate in Malaysia, Singapore (Australia as well) for many years and we are going to open very soon the first flagship shop in Indonesia.
On the other hand, Central and East Europe are among our international expansion plans as we are aware that the dry cleaning and laundry sector is still to be developed from several areas like operational, marketing, IT, or just complementary business lines (Pressto Plus). At the moment, we expect to open first pilot shop in Czech Republic very soon and Slovakia later on.
WF: You must receive a lot of franchise applications. What is your screening process? What exactly are you looking in a franchisee? Please describe the perfect franchisee profile.
Actually we do receive applications from potential franchisees or master franchisees through our website www.pressto.com or specialized franchise online websites such as World Franchise.
When we receive an information request, first of all, we must qualify the country of interest such as the candidate profile, that is, if they want to become franchisee or master franchisee. If we already operate in the territory, then the application is directly forwarded to our master franchisee in the country of interest, which will follow up directly with the candidate. In case we do not operate yet in the country of interest, then we look for a master franchise profile to develop Pressto in that country.
According to our experience, one of the main key points to develop successfully Pressto franchise is the profile of the franchisee who will be involved since the first day into the business. They must have an entrepreneurial spirit to manage and operate the business operations and staff.
WF: What about a Master Franchisee? Are there some different requirements?
The Master Franchise formula is the strategy followed by Pressto to implement our business concept in other countries. Accordingly, the entrepreneur who decides to introduce Pressto brand in a given country will become master franchisee, that is, partner and responsible to develop Pressto brand in the foresaid territory thanks to the master franchise agreement signed between him and Pressto headquarter (Spain), which concede the exclusive rights to developed Pressto brand in the arranged territory.
As such a way, the business and strategic plans will be discussed individually with each investor according to the master franchise market potential. We expect from our master franchisee to have business management experience and it would be highly valued if they have previous experience in franchises or in the retail sector. We do not require our master franchisees to have previous knowledge of dry cleaning and laundry sector as Pressto will transfer all its know-how during the training and ongoing advisory support.
WF: Let’s talk some numbers. Say I am a Pressto approved franchisee. How much will I invest to start and operate a Pressto shop starting from scratch?
The next step after analysing the master franchisee profile and their business motivations is to obtain specific market information to develop the financial forecast for the country of interest. This financial forecast includes the full evaluation of the investment from the total incomes/costs for each type of store, operating accounts, breakeven points, total initial and ongoing investment, or total operating result as for own stores as for sub franchisees among others.
The approximate investment to become master franchisee for a given country consists of the total amount of the flagship shop that includes machinery, decoration and initial stock, investment from 100.000€
In addition to the flagship store investment, the master franchise may afford the corresponding master fee which will give the exclusive rights to develop the brand in the master area, such the transfer of our know- how, including the training in Madrid and installation of the first shop in the country.
WF: Speaking about the Return On Investment (ROI), what should a franchisee expect?
Given the financial forecast, the master franchisee will be able to analyze some important finance ratios such as the Return on the Investment, Pay back of the investment (through own shops business plan uses to be up to three years), breakeven point or total operating results, among others.
WF: What’s the typical setup of a Pressto dry cleaning shop?
Pressto has created the “Cleaning Boutique” concept where not only cleaning processes are followed and garments are cared, but also customers can enjoy the image and appearance of the shop during their shopping experience. Our business model is based on different shop concepts:
- The flagship shop is the first shop to be opened in a new country; this shop has all the necessary machinery and equipment to offer dry cleaning and laundry services to care all kind of garments. These stores involve a complete investment in double machinery and products.
- Standard shop involves the investment in complete single machinery to offer all services in the store.
- Pressto corner or collection point is designed to expand the service area of a franchisee which already has a complete Pressto shop. In this corner, only some of the services are done like the pressing and bagging as these premises are smaller and involves less machinery investment.
- The concept of Production Center was developed by Pressto in order to give answer to the necessity of centralizing the complete portfolio of services in one place as well as to receive and care the garments from different Pressto shops where there is no cleaning machinery and only the pressing is done there. This concept is developed in industrial areas in the outskirts of the city, with the resulting savings in rents and assisting in the overall good performance of the business.
WF: You are a member of the Spanish Franchise Association (AEF). Could you please share some of the advantages of this membership? What other international franchise associations is Pressto a member of?
We are member of the Spanish Franchise Association (AEF) among others. Belonging to AEF means that Pressto respects and complies with the European franchise code of ethics and this gives confidence to our franchisees, suppliers and customers. This membership has several advantages, not only we have access to different market studies on the franchise system, we are represented in franchise national and international trade shows and in different press adverts, TV and radio programs but also we have good relationships with other associates and partners of the franchise network.
We also belong to more specific associations related to laundry and textile sector such as ACOTEX (Textile and Accessories Association), AEC (Spanish Association for Quality) and ASTYLCAM (Dry Cleaning and Laundry Association).
In Mexico, we are members of the AMF (Mexican Franchise Association) and CANALAVA (Laundry Association)
WF: Any other advices for future Pressto applicants?
Some of the most important aspects that Pressto values are those candidates willing to undertake a new business and being involved from first day into the business operations and management.