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Tuesday, July 10th 2012
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GREENBELT, Md., July 10, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A professional athlete's career is always just one injury or one bad season away from ending forever. So, instead of blowing money on cars and houses, many are aiming to win big in franchising as they look to their financial futures following sports.

Such is the case for Jared Jeffries of the New York Knicks who, along with his business partner Shawn Strader, recently joined the likes of other crafty ballers – including Jamal Mashburn, Shaquille O'Neal, Venus Williams and Drew Brees – looking to make a fortune in franchises.

Jeffries and Strader have committed to opening a ZIPS Dry Cleaners, a Mid-Atlantic based chain that has built a brand name on its low-cost, one-price-for-any-garment model. Their franchise is expected to open in Northern Virginia by the end of the year.

"Owning a franchise was the next logical step for me and Shawn, and ZIPS provided a safe and promising way to ease into the industry," said Jeffries, who has been business partners with Strader since the two started their own company specializing in residential real estate investment in 2007. The company, JV Management, currently owns properties throughout Florida, New York and Washington, DC, as well as freestanding land in Ohio.

Jeffries also believes franchising is uniquely suited to the skill sets he has developed as a professional athlete.

"It's a good fit, because franchising parallels sports," he added. "Athletes are executors. You follow prescribed movements put together by a coach and organization to win a ballgame. In franchising, you have the game plan and business model put together by the franchisor. Like an athlete, the operator has to come in and execute the plan."

Known for its "Professional Cleaning, Unbeatable Pricing," ZIPS' successful business model is based on a concept revolutionary to the industry and clearly in high demand to today's dry cleaning customer. With its "In by 9, out by 5" policy and $1.99 charge for any dry cleaned and pressed garment, ZIPS has become increasingly popular in every market where they are located. ZIPS also cleans the clothes on-site, allowing them to handle a high number of garments each day.

"We couldn't be happier about investing in an exciting franchise that is poised for tremendous growth," said Strader, noting recent research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that highlighted dry cleaning as one of the next decade's hottest industries. "We've had our eyes on ZIPS from afar and have been impressed with the incredible amount of leadership and industry experts they have assembled. We look forward to being part of the team."

About ZIPS

ZIPS, founded in 1996 and began franchising in 2006, has more than 35 locations on the East Coast. The company offers a fixed price of $1.99 for any garment to be dry cleaned and $1.39 for any shirt to be laundered. ZIPS offers same day service "In by 9, out by 5" with the motto, "We take the sting out of dry cleaning." Furthermore, ZIPS is prepaid business which helps keep the price down for consumers and thus provides a large amount of inventory on a constant basis for the franchise owners. With less than 10 percent of total costs going towards supplies and inventory, ZIPS is proving that it is a hot investment. For more information, go to www.321zips.com.

CONTACT: Michael Misetic
         Fishman Public Relations
         (847) 945-1300
         mmisetic@fishmanpr.com

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