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Cleaning company with local presence sets eyes on growth

David Floyd • Aug 11, 2019 at 9:00 AM

For most of us, cleaning a table, countertop or kitchen surface typically involves spraying a store-bought cleaner, wiping the spot with a cloth and then moving on.

Jim Wilson says that method isn’t entirely effective.

Wilson is the CEO of bioPURE Services, a cleaning company based in Johnson City.

BioPURE Services, which started operations in the Tri-Cities in January, has picked up a growing list of commercial customers in Johnson City, including Just Jump, Burleson Construction Company, Munsey Daycare, Holiday Inn Express and recently East Tennessee State University. It also serves residential customers.

“We’re taking two things,” said Wilson, who has lived in Johnson City since 1987 and in 2018 retired from Eastman Chemical Company as the director of global procurement. “We’re taking a great disinfectant that’s been around for a long time and a technology that’s actually been around for a while, electrostatics, and we’re putting those two things together.”

BioPURE’s electrostatic equipment sheers its disinfectant down into a “micro-bubble” that receives a positive electrical charge as it comes out of the spray nozzle, Wilson said. Because most everyday objects have a neutral charge, the positively charged particles are attracted to household items, allowing the disinfectant to reach into the cracks of keyboards or under chairs.

“It’s going to get spots that you can’t reach if you were just spraying and wiping,” Wilson said.

The business’s parent company is Retail Service Systems, which Wilson said has a mission to “empower entrepreneurs.” Aside from bioPURE, Retail Service Systems is also in the mattress and furniture industry, doing business as BoxDrop Mattress. Wilson also owns the BoxDrop Tri-Cities location in Johnson City, which is run by his adult son Kyle. His other son, Tyler, is the general manager of the local bioPURE Services office.

Wilson said BoxDrop experienced transformative growth between 2013 and 2018, jumping from 20 dealers to more than 300 dealers in 44 states.

Retail Service Systems ranked in the top 20% on Inc.’s list of the top 5,000 growing U.S. businesses in 2018, earning $28.3 million in revenue and experiencing 576% revenue growth from 2014 to 2017.

Wilson said the founder of bioPURE Services, Brandon Kinder, started the company in 2016 and reached out to RSS for assistance in scaling up the business. Kinder is now the president of the company.

BioPURE Services currently has locations in two South Carolina cities, Greeneville and Sumter, one in Hickory, North Carolina, and another in Columbus, Ohio.

Wilson anticipates bioPURE Services will keep its base of operations in Johnson City, but will look at putting training hubs in different parts of the country as it continues to grow.

The company has a training facility in Jacksonville, Florida, where Wilson said bioPURE Services will be opening a sixth location, which will be corporately owned, under the leadership of former professional football player Donovin Darius, a nine-season veteran of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“We want to take the concept and open it up in kind of a franchise environment so we can attract entrepreneurs to this in multiple cities and locations and regions,” Wilson said.

The company will begin franchising in the fourth quarter of this year with the goal of opening 50 locations by the end of 2020. Wilson believes bioPURE could grow at an event faster rate than Retail Service Systems.

“We’ve got infrastructure now,” he said. “With those 300 dealers in 44 states, we think our first 50 franchisees are going to come from word-of-mouth and referrals.”

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