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Words: Denise Mhlanga | Images: Supplied

A first of its kind in South African, The Sneaker Shack is a unique laundry service catering to active and footwear-conscious people who need a professional service to keep their kicks in perfect condition. Owner Lolo Ndlovu tells us more about the concept and the Hobart Grove Centre store.

How did your business start?
In 2014, while I was in Los Angeles, I came across Jason Markk, the world’s first drop-off shoe-cleaning service. When I returned home, I spoke to a friend about how this could be adapted for the local market. In 2015, I ran a beta test in Maboneng, which proved very popular, and in November 2017, the Bryanston store was opened.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
Hobart Grove is home to Bodytec, Core Barre and CrossFit Aurum for fitness fanatics, with the Bryanston Virgin Active close by. So it provides a pool of active people in the catchment area who would use our services.

How did you find your premises?
I visited a number of malls and lifestyle centres around Joburg. In the end, Hobart Grove ticked all the right boxes – it’s got the shops and customers coming through its doors who would support our business.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
The area provides us with a big enough market and the space has the necessary support structure.

Who are your neighbours?
Our neighbours are Bodytec and Laundry Days.

What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Rentals are dependent on space and we feel we got an affordable deal for our shop.

How many people visit your business each day?
On average, we have about 20 to 30 pairs of sneakers dropped off every day.

Do you operate online as well?
We’re currently exploring different ideas around apps and these will include an easy-to-use interactive booking service and pick-up/drop off service.

Do you have any expansion plans?
Yes, we’ll open in Rosebank and Fourways Crossing by mid-2018. The franchise model will be our main vehicle for growth and we’re currently taking registrations for franchisees on our website.

What’s your most popular service?
Deep cleaning to remove stains and kill bacteria build-up.

The Sneaker Shack
072 626 1542



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