Monday, May 6, 2013

Only in New York: This Former Hedge Fund Analyst Wants to Launder Your Clothes

There are a million bags of dirty clothes in the naked city, and DashLocker wants to wash every last one of them.

Robert Hennessy has an unusual talent. If you tell this ex-analyst entrepreneur where you live in New York, he can name every laundry and dry cleaner within a stone's throw. "Seventy-eighth between First and Second? There’s four dry cleaners on that block," he reports, reeling them off one by one before sniffing, "They’re all 7-to-7 places." The term 7-to-7 refers to the typical operating hours of drop-off laundries and dry cleaners—and for Hennessy, it translates to a huge business opportunity.

A year ago, Hennessy launched DashLocker, premised around the idea that New Yorkers—perhaps millions of them—have fast-paced, complicated lives that the business hours of the average dry cleaners simply don't take into account. For them, DashLocker offers a simple alternative: Dump your dirties in a locker and about a day later, everything comes back fresh, clean and folded. A text or e-mail notifies the customer when his clothes are ready for pickup. The biggest selling point: DashLocker, which operates several freestanding stores and is aggressively partnering with Manhattan landlords to add lockers inside apartment buildings, is accessible 24/7. "We’re always here and we’re always open," says Hennessy. "If you’re working late, have a social life and value your sleep, there is no other proposition...."

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