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Procter & Gamble Expands Into Franchising in Its Pursuit of New Areas for Growth

Ellen Byron

Updated Feb. 5, 2009 12:01 a.m. ET

Now Procter Gamble Co. wants to wash your car.

The giant manufacturer of household staples including Pampers diapers, Crest toothpaste and Gillette razors is forging a new business model: franchising car washes.

To jump-start plans for a nationwide chain of Mr. Clean Car Wash franchises, P G in December acquired the franchise assets of Atlanta-based Carnett’s Car Wash, which has 14 locations.

We need to look for new opportunities to allow us to grow, says Bruce Brown, P G’s chief technology officer. That isn’t limited to things within our current business model.

P G is under mounting pressure to find new sources of revenue growth, particularly as more cash-strapped shoppers think twice about buying its premium-priced products. Wall Street is increasingly skeptical that the mammoth company can garner meaningful gains in its slow-growing product categories and a tough economy.

ENLARGE

Above, one of the two initial Mr. Clean CarWashes near Procter



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