Innovation That Matters

Laundry service by the locker

Work & Lifestyle

A few weeks ago we wrote about Dutch Insinger de Beaufort’s shoebox approach to private banking, and we couldn’t help but notice the similarity with an innovative San Francisco laundry service one of our spotters recently pointed out. Catering to those who are frustrated with the inconvenience of traditional laundry and dry-cleaning services–many of which, like banking, can involve parking hassles and limited hours–Laundry Locker offers on-site convenience and 24-hour service through a fleet of lockers located in apartment buildings throughout the city. Customers begin by creating an account online, then they place their dirty clothes in any available locker and pocket the key. (In addition to servicing lockers in 355 apartment buildings, Laundry Locker also operates several kiosks throughout the city, and home delivery is available as well.) Laundry Locker personnel check all locations each day and send an email confirming and requesting payment for each order received. Dry cleaning is cleaned and packaged, including minor repairs at no extra charge, for prices beginning at USD 2.25 per shirt. Regular washing, meanwhile, is separated into white and coloured loads and washed separately from that of other customers, then neatly folded for pick-up. Wash-and-fold pricing begins at USD 1.35 per pound, and users can specify online exactly how they want their laundry done. Clean garments are then returned to the same locker by 5 p.m. the following day, Monday through Saturday, with notification to the customer via SMS and email. Users simply unlock the locker they originally used and take out their clean clothes–packaged in a personal laundry bag Laundry Locker provides–leaving the locker available for the next customer. Laundry Locker was actually launched back in 2005, but the strength of its concept endures, as evidenced by customer reviews and “Best of San Francisco” ratings. A winning idea to emulate in laundry-averse cities around the globe! Spotted by: Susie Wyshak



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