Procter &Gamble is betting shoppers will spend nearly $500 and find a spot in their homes for a machine more than 4 feet tall, all in the name of avoiding laundering or dry cleaning their favorite blouses and slacks.
Swash is a new release from the consumer-products giant, maker of Tide and Febreze, in partnership with Whirlpool. The tall and thin device, which is large enough to hold one men’s extra-large suit jacket, uses gel-filled pods to help neutralize odors, remove wrinkles and restore a garment’s fit.
It isn’t meant to replace laundering or dry cleaning, the companies say, just delay them. That convenience comes with a hefty price tag: $499 for the machine, plus $6.99 for a 12-pack of pods, each good for one use only. The machine is sold at Bloomingdale’s and will be available next month at other retailers.
Swash’s pods come in three scents: Awaken, Recharge and Unwind. Proctor & Gamble
The goal is to snag what P&G sees as a new laundry consumer: the re-wearer, says Mike Grieff, P&G’s research and development director for new business creation and innovation. Two decades ago, the idea of wearing clothes several times before washing them had a negative stigma, he says.
“Today, it’s smart. Why would I wash something and go through the process if it’s really, really not that dirty?”
It’s a new brand at a time when P&G has said it would be cutting half of its brands to focus on its biggest businesses. P&G declined to comment on the future of individual brands, including Swash.