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The Sneaker Shack laundry service expands to Cape Town

The Sneaker Shack, a Johannesburg-based in-store sneaker care service, has expanded to Cape Town with its first branch located at Kloof Street Village.

Credit: The Sneaker Shack
Credit: The Sneaker Shack

Launched in 2015 by founder Lolo Ndlovu, the business has steadily grown to comprise a team of 16 employees. “We have been careful not to grow too quickly, and rather expand organically where our customers are taking us. Twenty percent of our online traffic comes from Cape Town and there is a massive sneaker culture.”

The Sneaker Shack provides professional footwear cleaning by trained technicians within a 48-hour turnaround time. The company also has a goal to to decrease the amount of shoes that end up in landfills each year. “We will be launching our repair services in Cape Town in January 2021. We aim to be the go-to place for all footwear needs and want to make sustainability easier for everyone,” explains Ndlovu.

He adds, “With a significant increase in sneaker culture, a push for a more sustainable future, and a movement to living a healthier and more active lifestyle, we believe that the new location in Kloof Street Village on the corner of Rheede and Kloof Street is the perfect starting ground. We want to be accessible for the entire Mother City, from the most avid trail runners to the city sneakerheads.”

Credit: The Sneaker Shack
Credit: The Sneaker Shack

Expanding to Cape Town is also a way for The Sneaker Shack to build momentum for Project Run, its CSI initiative that aims to empower South Africans through sport. “We want to encourage our people to think twice before they throw those unwanted kicks away. We live in a society where many people cannot afford to get their own pair of running shoes, so have made it our mission to be a drop-off point for shoes. We clean them and pass them on to those in need, looking as good as new!”

2020 hasn’t been an easy year in retail. Commenting on the impact of Covid-19 on the business, Ndlovu says, “It’s been a tricky time to navigate, but we remain highly motivated about the product, and rather than halting our plans, the pandemic has reshaped them for the better. We’ve learned to be more efficient with our budgets and to market a lot smarter. It’s been a great learning experience and allowed us to be a lot closer to our customers than we were before.”

Looking ahead, Ndlovu say his goal is to be South Africa’s go-to sneaker laundry service in the next two to three years.

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