Don’t have the time or inclination to do your laundry? There’s an app for that. Professional laundry service app Mr Jeff, which launched in South Africa in October, is set to open its first ten hubs in Cape Town and Johannesburg in the new year after an enthusiastic response from local entrepreneurs and consumers.
The latest in a growing number of apps that cater for the modern on-demand lifestyle, Mr Jeff allows customers to choose the exact location, time and day they want their laundry or dry-cleaning picked up. A driver visits the user’s house, collects the garments, and delivers them back, cleaned and ironed. This service can be accessed via on-demand or monthly subscription options.
Eloi Gómez, CEO of Jeff, says the company aims to expand rapidly in 2020 to support the growth of the service to local consumers. Founded in Spain in 2015, Jeff has already expanded to 40 countries across Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and southern Asia, with 1 780 hubs already sold globally. The first South African hubs will be in Cape Town (Newlands, City Bowl, Rondebosch and Woodstock) and Johannesburg (Fourways, Midrand and Sandton).
Gómez believes the service will take off rapidly in South Africa. According to Mr Jeff’s research, 78% of people say that laundry is their least favourite household chore, but they’ve never had a choice. The laundry-on-demand model is creating a new market, with an estimated 60% of Mr Jeff customers never having used a laundry service before.
“On-demand services are one of the biggest lifestyle trends of recent years. South African consumers are used to being able to order food, or get a taxi, using an app. Now this business model is expanding to areas like cleaning and laundry, which allows people convenience and choice. It’s also a major business opportunity for local entrepreneurs,” said Gómez.
Gómez says the typical franchise will recoup its investment within 19 months, with a profit of around R45 000 a month after 12 months. Local franchisees will also receive strong marketing and partner support from Jeff, with zero royalties and marketing fees for the first year. “With our digital approach and our subscription plans, we intend to change the traditional function of the laundry cleaning sector,” he said.
The Jeff brand has proven successful to date, as the company’s workforce has already grown to 500 direct and more than 3,500 indirect employees worldwide. Service options include on-demand solutions as well as monthly subscription. With two payment methods available, including credit card and cash payments, Jeff’s services are accessible to the unbanked population in South Africa as well.