February 03, 2009 // Franchising.com // Ann Arbor, MI – While today's economy is troubling for many industries, Service Brands International (SBI), the franchisor of household services category leaders Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman and 1-800-DryClean, is aggressively growing with the acquisition of Protect Painters, a 14-unit franchise brand based mostly in the Northeast. Under the SBI umbrella, the concept is expected to grow to 200 units during the next five years.
Protect Painters, a professional painting contractor specializing primarily in exterior, residential painting projects, joins SBI primed for growth. The brand's strong foundation is built on franchisee training and support created by founder Wayne Scherger, who started the company in 1994. SBI will join forces with Scherger to continue his training and support role, while tapping into its seasoned team of SBI franchise development, marketing, and information technology professionals to launch Protect Painters in new territories across the country.
"This new partnership with Protect Painters allows SBI to continue to strengthen our lineup of branded in-home services, and provide our franchisees additional cross-referral opportunities," said John McDonald, Chief Operating Officer of Service Brands International. "Protect Painters' core mission, values and commitment to the highest quality of service is a much-needed solution for time-starved consumers, and aligns well with the promise of SBI's family of brands. We look forward to growing their franchise system, simultaneously adding value to our existing household services companies."
"The painting business is appealing because sooner or later, every home and business will need to be painted. The repaint cycle creates built-in demand making this addition to our system a great one," added McDonald.
The addition of Protect Painters enhances SBI's portfolio of quality home service brands, while also signaling the strength of SBI's existing holdings. McDonald said SBI continues to see strong growth in its Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman and 1-800-DryClean brands, despite the economic climate. Molly Maid finished 2008 with revenues 5 percent higher than the previous year, and saw an 85 percent increase in contacts to its consumer Web site. Mr. Handyman, meanwhile, completed 2008 with consumer sales over 3 percent higher than 2007, and awarded 40 new franchises.
"As other franchise concepts put on the brakes, SBI has chartered a steady course of servicing homes across the country," he said. "During tough economic times, consumers have to make great choices. Our brands are nationally recognized. Our customers can trust the people they are letting into their homes."
Scherger said the SBI partnership creates the bandwith and proven track record that Protect Painters needed to grow nationwide.
"For more than 25 years, SBI has built a stellar reputation in the household services and franchise industries," Scherger said. "By combining the training and support foundation I have built into the system with the professional resources of SBI, we can build Protect Painters into a leading, national brand."
Founded in 1984, Service Brands International is a privately held, multi-concept franchise system with worldwide headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Its portfolio of home-services brands includes category leaders Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman, and 1-800-DryClean. Molly Maid is the most respected name in the residential cleaning industry. Entrepreneur magazine ranks Mr. Handyman the #1 handyman service franchise. 1-800-DryClean is Entrepreneur magazine's #1 delivery services franchise and is carving a preferred niche in a booming $10 billion industry.