Consumer appliances manufacturer LG Electronics is moving to tap into the fast-growing on-demand laundry market in East Africa with a new concept targeting clientele looking for superior home washing services.
LG has partnered with vendors and local entrepreneurs to roll out stores in strategic locations that are equipped with state-of-the-art washing machines, and offering differentiated laundry solutions to an increasingly affluent middle income market.
(TOP: L – R – Brian Gacheru, CEO, Pristine Linen & Laundry; Sailesh Kanani, MD, Hotpoint Appliances; and LG East Africa Home Appliances Product Manager Mr. Eden Seo during the launch of a new smart laundry shop at the Thika Road Mall (TRM) in Nairobi. LG will partner with vendors and local entrepreneurs to roll out commercial machine reference stores as it seeks to tap into the fast-growing on-demand laundry market in East Africa).
The concept, known as LG commercial machine reference stores, also involves the company partnering with small laundry businesses targeting time and hygiene-conscious consumers who may not own a washing machine but prefer their personal laundry done by professionals.
LG East Africa Home Appliances Product Manager Mr. Eden Seo said the company will partner with local distributors and entrepreneurs to offer consumers unique laundry solutions.
“Our new laundromat concept is designed to deliver a premium and convenient laundry solution to both owners and customers. Using LG smart washing and drying technology, the idea is to offers investors and clients a smarter, safer way of doing laundry,” said Mr. Seo.
The new marketing concept will also create opportunities for small businesses to venture into on-demand laundry serving both single individuals and working couples with families.
He was speaking while launching a new smart laundry shop at the Thika Road Mall (TRM) in Nairobi. The shop, located along the busy Thika Superhighway, is the second that LG is unveiling. The first one opened in Buruburu in the city’s eastern suburbs in September last year.
“Our goal is to work with our partners to serve the growing market for laundry solutions driven by the expanding middle class looking for safe and convenient services. This is part of LG’s global strategy to create a bridge to a new market for our home and commercial laundry segment,” added Mr. Seo.
“Starting from a concept, Hotpoint has proved that Laundromats are a viable and profitable business in Kenya. The Laundry Lounge store at the Point Mall in Buruburu continues to go from strength to strength, and its success has given us the impetuous to open our second store at the Thika Road Mall. Over the past six months, we have seen laundromats open in every corner of the country and expect to see this trend continue. Having been in the appliances and electronics industry for over 30 years and having direct experience in Laundromats, Hotpoint is the ideal partner for your laundromat.” said Mr Ravi Kanani B2B Regional Head, Hotpoint Appliances Ltd. He added that Hotpoint has partnered with Avana Laundromat, to offer clients financing and franchising opportunities for new Laundromats.
“For entrepreneurs venturing into home laundry services, LG innovative washing and drying machines provide cost-savings solutions for the business, combined with high performance and energy-efficient functions,” continued Seo.
The laundry lounges feature the latest LG washing machine technology and innovative features to deliver clean, gentle clothing care. Each washing machine incorporates effective hygiene technology.
The commercial dryer, for instance, uses high temperature air to sanitize clothes of germs and bacteria. The LG Styler units steam coats, suits and scarves that cannot be cleaned directly using water.
LG’s laundromat technology also comes with a digital app that allows customers to monitor progress with their laundry remotely. The shop operators can also manage their business off-site in real time and also tracking and resolving technical issues promptly.
With less than 20 percent of Kenyan homes owning a washing machine or dryer, commercial laundromats, popularly known as drycleaners, are very common in local towns and markets. Depending on the location, they can be a profitable business to invest in since they offer a convenient service for busy people seeking the best care possible for their clothes.
There is also an emerging trend where consumers are paying greater attention to personal care solutions. The smart laundromat concept not only addresses this need but also guarantees quick turnaround with minimal contact between the customer and service provider.