Local dry cleaner launches on-demand app, others expand

Atlas Cleaners launched the first on-demand app of it's kind in Indianapolis on June 15, 2015. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — More services are available on-demand these days, often through just a tap on the screen of your smart phone. This week an Indianapolis dry-cleaner is rolling out a new app making it possible for you to never set foot inside the business again.

“I bought a dry-cleaner. I learned the dry-cleaning business,” said John Krug. “I even drove Uber for a little bit to learn how that worked. I’ve worked to develop this app to make sure that it works the way it should work. We set it up so you shouldn’t spend more than 30 seconds.”

Krug is the owner of Atlas Cleaners. Six years ago he left his New York City career as an attorney all to create an on-demand dry-cleaning service here in Indianapolis.

The app which launched Monday allows users choose a time and any location, including your home or workplace. Then an Atlas employee will come pick-up your items and then drop them back off when finished. The app is free and the service is free. Krug said he never felt comfortable leaving his items on his stoop in New York City, the way most delivery dry-cleaners operate.

“This will be the big thing for me,” Krug said.

It’s the first of it’s kind in the area and it joins the ranks of other local Uber-style apps like Mealski, a restaurant delivery service which launched in February, and nationally owned Plowz and Mowz, which connects plowing and mowing professionals to homeowners who don’t want to do the dirty work.

“Indianapolis has become a top five market for us with Mowz. We have seen incredible growth over the past month in Indianapolis and continue to add coverage in surrounding areas. We have also just released a brand new version of the app that allows for reoccurring orders so you can set it and forget it. That feature is very popular in your area,” owner Wills Mahoney said.

“People, especially millennials don’t want to wait for things to be delivered, so you have things like Push for Pizza, which is pizza delivery with the push of a button or Homejoy, which is house cleaners with the push of a button,” Matt Hunckler, founder and president of Verge HQ said.

Verge HQ is a network of hundreds of entrepreneurial members. Hunckler says not every business needs to provide Uber-style services, but it’s worth testing it out.

“Really it’s sort of what the market will bear,” he said.

But Krug feels confident his new app will spin up new business and make life easier for his current customers.

“The idea is to take away some of that time you use for errands and allow you to do it for something else,” Krug said.

The Atlas Dry-cleaners app is free and it’s there’s no third party involved. It’s not a courier service. An actual Atlas employee will pick up your clothing items, review them, and then drop them back off when finished.

Meanwhile, Mealski is planning to expand in the coming months.

“We are targeting a full city launch in early August and expansion to our first new market as early as September. We have used our feedback from our customers, drivers, and restaurants in Broad Ripple to develop our ‘2.0’ application that we are rolling out in July. With the help of an investment group on the West Coast, we have solidified an expansion plan that will put us 5 cities by early 2016. We are looking to announce our expansion plans and details of our investment in the upcoming months,” owner Dan Owensby said.

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