Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. When Glyndon Lord Baltimore (GLB) Cleaners first opened its doors, there was a diphtheria epidemic that peaked in the U.S. with over 200,000 cases in 1921. In mid-May of 2021, the U.S. had reported close to 33 million cases of COVID altogether.
The drycleaning industry has been one of the hardest hit industries by the pandemic. I know that personally, as I have a drycleaner located in central Florida and our sales were off by more than 60% in the second quarter of 2020.
If it wasn’t for the two loans from the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), we would have gone out of business and all of our employees would have lost their jobs. I know that many of you are doing everything that you can to survive COVID, just like we are.
The drycleaning industry is experiencing the rarest of anomalies: an odd-numbered year without a Clean Show. Normally, well over 10,000 attendees would be gathering in Atlanta, GA, this month for the 44th year of the biennial event, to catch up with colleagues, listen to educational seminars and look at the latest cleaning equipment in action on the exhibit show floor.
he industry may have become smaller, but it has also grown stronger and more united, according to a panel of drycleaning experts who spoke on the final day of April’s SpringFest EXPO 2021, hosted by NEFA, PDCA, SEFA in conjunction with the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute.
That panel, consisting of DLI CEO Mary Scalco, Bill Odorizzi of Sankosha USA, Kermit Engh from Methods for Management and Route Pros founder James Peuster, performed a SWOT analysis on the industry, listing its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. In perhaps drycleaners’ most difficult year, the panel felt many in the industry responded to the challenge with focus and grit.
Beginning June 16 and 17, the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute will launch its new Marketing Lab program giving members a chance to develop or tweak marketing efforts together with peers.
“I have been so impressed with the exchange of ideas on the Peer-to-Peer Zoom meetings we have been hosting over the past year,” said DLI CEO Mary Scalco. “I always learn something and those who participate report feeling the same way. This series of virtual meetings will focus on marketing and who better to learn from than your peers?”
President Joe Biden is 78 years old. I met then Senator Biden in 1992, and I can tell you that he seemed more energetic then. Imagine that Joe Biden worked for you in some capacity. Older workers can be great. I am an older worker myself. Fifty years ago, I would have already reached retirement age, but I still make money for my firm, and my skills have not deteriorated (in my humble opinion). If I want to work and can, I should be able to do so.
There are dozens, perhaps hundreds or more, types of products that will enhance your finished product. You probably use many of them yourself... coat retainers, garment covers, sweater bags, plastic butterflies for shirts, cuff clips, cuff links, bust forms, shoulder guards and tissue paper are just a few examples.
Before you begin using a new one of these items, consider the true cost of these packaging enhancements. The cost goes far beyond your cost to purchase them. The labor involved to affix them can be significant. Furthermore, there can be a catastrophic backfire.
Many garments received by my analysis service (International Independent Garment Analysis Service) require use of acids and alkalis for their correction. Some examples of problem solving may be:
1) Restoring color to acetate
2) Correcting shrunken leather
3) Restoring color change
4) Removing shine
5) Removing ground-in soils
6) Prevention of bleeding
during wetcleaning 7) Expanded stain removal
8) Aid to bleaching
9) Stretching wool
There is a long list of impurities that can be found in water entering a boiler. However, in the drycleaning and laundry industries, the major ones affecting the operation of boilers are dissolved solids (known as TDS, or total solids) and oxygen which is dissolved in the new city water entering the return tank.
This oxygen combines with carbon dioxide to form carbonic acid, a destroyer of the metal in the boiler and piping throughout the steam/return systems..
Those who know me and the work we do at Methods for Management know I enjoy numbers. Through MFM we measure nearly 150 KPIs all relating to the drycleaning clients we serve. Today, I would like to introduce six new numbers to track for your business.
Baseball’s leadoff batters measure their “on-base percentage” — the number of times they get on base — as a percentage of the number of times they get the chance to try. If you know the movie “Moneyball” with Brad Pitt, you’ve seen this on the big screen.
Nationwide, small businesses are facing the same obstacle: lack of help and inability to fully staff their operations. This is the single greatest challenge expressed by all business owners, and we are not alone. Restaurants, retail stores and other service businesses are competing for the same labor pool. We were facing this same problem before the pandemic, and now it is even worse. There are a great many reasons we can point to: FFMLA, government assistance, federal unemployment subsidies, lack of childcare services, remote schooling, fear of COVID, and the list goes on. It is a perfect storm of obstacles to re-energizing the workforce.
The California Cleaners Association (CCA) announces our Fabricare 2021 Convention for the weekend of Oct 1st -3rd 2021 at the Sahara Hotel & Casino in fabulous Las Vegas The theme for this event is “Create a Winning Hand!”. CCA President Sassan Rahimzadeh wants to invite all cleaners and industry people to come and take advantage of this IN PERSON tabletop event. “All industry events have been cancelled for the past 15 months, including our Fabricare 2020. There is a great demand for knowledge, fellowship and networking and we intend to fill this gap. The registration and cost information will follow soon.”
The Southwest Drycleaners Association will be hosting an in-person meeting from July 9-10 in Austin, Texas. The association's Board and Membership meeting will take place at the Lone Star Court, located in the heart of The Domain, in north Austin. Registration is free for SDA/DLI members and $100 for non-members. A highlight of the event will be a presentation by John Rothrock, CGCP, President of Yale Cleaners of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He will discuss "Generation Now... Can Drycleaning Deliver?", emphasizing customer expectations and why same-day delivery service matters and how to implement it. For more information, visit www.sda-dryclean.com. To register, contact the SDA office at (512) 873-8195.
Once up on a time — about 13 years ago or so — America began suffering through its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The Great Recession, as it is now called, lasted from December 2007 until June 2009, but its negative effects could be felt for many years to come. The country’s unemployment rate, which was at 5% at the start of the recession, rose to as high as 10% at one point. Meanwhile, the bottom completely fell out of the housing market. Home prices typically fell 30% on average... for those who kept ownership of their property. Millions of Americans were forced into foreclosure
Richard spent over 50 years working in the drycleaning industry including many years as a consultant in recent times as president of MMA Consultants of Fair Lawn, NJ,, and, previously, as the national sales manager for Hoffman-New Yorker for over 34 years from 1983 to 2017.
Last month, however, Richard J. Greco passed away at the age of 69 on May 14.
Greco was born in Pasaic, NJ, in 1952. During childhood he grew up in Garfield and was an active participant at his family’s business, Cameo Cleaners. After he completed his certification in drycleaning, he flourished in the field for more than half a century, making numerous friends with an earnest, infectious smile.
In his spare time, he worked as a Mass Coordinator at Our Lady of Consolation RC Church, and was also an active member in the Habitat for Humanity ministry.
Richard is survived by his wife Karen; son Matthew and fiancé Tom; daughter Melanie and fiancé Marco; daughter Alyssa and fiancé Joshua; brother Michael and his wife Laurette; brother Robert and his wife Jean; mother-in-law Margaret; and brother-in-law Joseph. Relatives and friends celebrated the life of Richard in a wake held on May 18. In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Lung Association were recommended.
Lapels Dry Cleaning, an environmentally friendly drycleaning company headquartered in Hanover, Massachusetts, and its equity partner, Greybull Stewardship, L.P. (“Greybull”), recently announced the acquisition of Martinizing Dry Cleaning, 1-800-DryClean, Pressed4time, Dry Cleaning Station and Bizziebox. Lapels and Greybull have now merged these leading drycleaning companies into Clean Franchise Brands, LLC (“Clean Franchise Brands”), now the largest drycleaning company in the world, with 500+ stores in 40 states and nine countries.
“This acquisition creates tremendous synergies among all of our existing and new franchisees across the country,” said Kevin Dubois, CEO and president of Clean Franchise Brands. “The merger gives us the collective purchasing power to significantly reduce operational costs for our franchises in the future.” “There will definitely be some coordination between brands to accommodate the needs of customers,” added Dubois, who is also the co-author of Entrepreneurial Insanity in the Dry Cleaning Business. “For example, a Lapels Dry Cleaning Plant may provide the cleaning service for a 1-800-Dry-Clean operator.” Clean Franchise Brands is thrilled to provide multiple offerings for new and existing franchise owners, including: a plant with retail store, a satellite store, pickup and delivery, and the newly created Lapels Laundromat. Clean Franchise Brands also offers a conversion program to independent drycleaning business owners that would like to receive international marketing and technology assistance.
“Over the years, we’ve established Lapels as a unique franchise offering with a focus on environmentally friendly, non-toxic cleaning practices, as well as stellar customer service. That package has earned us a place in the Franchise 500 year in and year out,” said Dubois. “With this acquisition, we can provide a wide range of offerings to prospects all over the world. We’re excited about the future of all our new brands.
Girbau North America recently announced two promotions within the GNA team. Brennan Pollnow of Milwaukee, WI, was named North American business manager, Girbau Industrial brand, and Tyler Willman of Oshkosh, WI, was named regional business development manager — Canada and northwestern U.S.
“Brennan and Tyler are impressive young professionals who have proven their value with our company,” said Vice President of Sales Joel Jorgensen. “We are excited to offer them next steps toward building high-quality careers representing the GNA family of brands and products.”
Pollnow, who got his start with GNA in 2016 as an inside sales and customer care associate, was quickly promoted in 2018 to regional sales manager for central/southern U.S. commercial distribution and to provide lead prospect qualification and management for the company’s industrial laundry brand, Girbau Industrial (GI). In his newest role as GI North American business manager, Pollnow works to design and implement GI strategic sales plans; support new GI product introductions; develop lasting relationships with distributors, suppliers and partners; manage ongoing GI projects; and identify emerging markets and market shifts; among many others. A 2016 graduate of University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Pollnow holds a bachelor’s degree in economics.
Tyler Willman, who joined GNA in 2020 as a regional sales manager in training, has greatly expanded responsibilities in his new role as regional sales manager. Responsible for sales and distribution within Canada and the northwestern U.S., Willman is charged with developing lasting distributor and partner relationships, as well as assisting with new product development, competitive analyses, lead tracking and follow-up, and much more. Willman holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
GNA provides the world’s most comprehensive offering of commercial, industrial and vended laundry solutions. To find out more about GNA laundry products – backed by industry-leading warranties. For more information, visit them online at www.gnalaundry.com or call 800-256-1073.
The Route Pros has announced that Jennifer Marquardt is joining the team as the customer service expert for continual and onsite training. "We know it is vital for our clients to have access to an expert who has hands-on experience at the counter, as well as retention," James Peuster said.
"Jennifer is exactly what this industry needs — a fresh and positive spirit," added Mark Albrecht. "The addition of Jennifer to the Route Pros team is so exciting! Now, more than ever, Route Pros members are looking to achieve superior client relations and separate themselves from their competitors."
"I am very happy to be joining the Route Pros Team," Marquardt noted. "With a combination of James, Mark and myself, we are excited to offer members the tools they need, but only to grow... but to thrive. Thank you James, Mark and all the Route Pros members for putting your trust in me. Together, we are going to accomplish amazing things. I can't wait to get started."
ByNext, the leading technology-enabled home services company, providing eco-friendly laundry, dry cleaning and residential home cleaning, announced that it has acquired WashBox, a Los Angeles-based laundry and dry cleaning delivery company. The WashBox acquisition will accelerate ByNext's expansion into a new market and solidify its position as a national leader in the home services space.
Perfect Eucal Laundry Powder Concentrate contains eucalyptus oil, an essential oil that has been used for centuries for its health and antiseptic qualities. The detergent is 100% soluble even in cold water so it leaves no residue on your clothes. Its eco-friendly formula is greywater and septic water safe. It is hypo-allergenic even for a very sensitive skin. It contains no artificial perfume or dye, yet its powerful formula offers you an exception performance.
You can use half the amount of other detergent and still get a better cleaning performance. You can use half the amount of other detergent and still get a better cleaning power, making it very economical. It even cleans and protects the inside of your machine. For more information, please visit www.TeamProductsUSA.com or call Shellie Hong at (201) 313-7191. Her email address is [email protected].
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