“Sneakers tell stories – whether it’s on trails up the mountain or walks along the promenade; at pop-up art exhibitions or in secret gin bars. Each pair has its own adventure; each has its own journey,” says Lolo Ndlovu, Founder of The Sneaker Shack.

South Africa’s in-store premium sneaker laundry service is making its debut in the Mother City on 1 December 2020!

After five years as Johannesburg’s leading sneaker care service, and with 16 employees as part of the team, founder Lolo Ndlovu decided it was time to expand, “we have been careful not to grow too quickly, and rather expand organically where our customers are taking us. 20% 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; and is passionate about a conscious and sustainable future. One of they sustainability goals is 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.

But 2020 hasn’t been an easy year in retail, or many industries for that matter. 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 learnt 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.”

So who is the target audience? The Sneaker Shack has a diverse customer base, from super-moms to young, upwardly mobile people creatives, corporates that enjoy an active lifestyle. Basically, we are for people who see sneakers as more than just a “shoe”.

Ndlovu explains, “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 Streets 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.”

Looking forward, Ndlovu’s goal is to be South Africa’s go to sneaker laundry in the next 2 – 3 years, focusing on quality of service but also how the brand can help reduce waste and promote sustainable thinking.

Expanding to Cape Town is also a way for The Sneaker Shack to build momentum for Project Run, their CSI initiative which 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!”

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