The Board of Directors of ZIPS Dry Cleaners® announced that it has appointed Bob Barry as President/CEO of the network of one-low-price dry-cleaning stores, effective immediately. He succeeds Drew Ritger, who held the role for the past three and a half years and has accepted a position with a midwestern chain of gourmet coffee restaurants.
Barry has been a member of the ZIPS Board of Directors for the past eight years and he will retain that position. He has also served on the boards of the American Heart Association and the Restaurant Association of Maryland. He spent 12 years as President/CEO of The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille, growing that chain from just a handful of locations to nearly 50 full-service franchised and company-owned restaurants. Prior to The Greene Turtle, he spent nine years as President/CEO of Ms. Desserts/The Great Cookie Ltd., a retail, mobile and e-commerce baked goods business, worked for Marriott Corp. and W.R. Grace & Co. More recently, he has been an investor in and advisor for several companies, including: Truvelop, a talent transformation company specializing in team member evaluation and development; Lost Ark Distilling Co., a Maryland-based artisanal distillery; and Columbia Treatment Center, a rehab facility supporting individuals confronted by substance use and mental health issues.
“We are thrilled to have Bob step up to the helm of our organization,” said Jim Bolduc, ZIPS’ board chairman. “He is a proven leader and strategic business developer who has been a valued and respected member of our board for almost a decade. We look forward to leveraging his experience in the restaurant/hospitality field and his many connections, especially throughout our Maryland/DC base. With Bob’s leadership, ZIPS will emerge from the pandemic strong and with a bright future.”
Barry will concentrate on guiding ZIPS successfully out of the pandemic and expanding the brand’s footprint by increasing unit profitability, innovating and rolling out new programs to broaden the concept’s menu of services (including both consumer and commercial business), developing fill-in strategies for existing markets and determining penetration strategies for new markets.
“I’m honored to lead ZIPS into its next chapter, capitalizing on the many assets that were put in place before the world closed down,” Barry said. “As consumers start returning to the workplace and attending events and experiences, ZIPS will be there to ensure they look their best without impacting their schedules or their wallets. As we open more locations, our convenient same-day, cost-efficient service will become available to even more customers who appreciate quality, cost savings and convenience.”
With nearly 70 open locations in 10 states plus Washington, D.C., another 150 units slated to open in the next three years and numerous markets with multi-unit development opportunities available, ZIPS is primed to become the premier brand in the $20B garment care industry. The company handles more than 24 million garments a year, comprised of both consumer and commercial business. Behind its iconic black and bright yellow branding are a commitment to environmentally friendly practices, an in-by-9-out-by-5 guarantee, a single low price and a system of checks and balances that ensures each article of clothing receives optimal attention and care.
Independent garment-care businesses, owners of other service-oriented businesses and those looking to get into a business of their own for the first time all have recognized ZIPS as a high-potential business opportunity. In return for their investment, they receive a well-curated portfolio of services designed to help them succeed, from site-selection support to store design assistance to comprehensive training, representation by a franchisee advisory council, support for grand openings and ongoing local marketing, a consumer website, social media campaigns, assistance with equipment repair and maintenance, data and customer analysis, manager certification programs and more.
ZIPS will get a boost in the Southeast later this year when implementation commences on a 10-unit deal for Charlotte, N.C., signed shortly before the pandemic began. The company also recently completed a deal that will yield 20 stores in the Atlanta market. Prime territories are now available throughout the eastern United States and in select regions of the Midwest and West.