ABILENE, Texas — Have you added wash-dry-fold service to your drycleaning operation? Why not? There’s evidence that wash-dry-fold can double up and bubble up your profits! In Texas, one dry cleaner is finding success with cleaning WDF garments that she says others won’t touch:
GETTIN’ DOWN IN A-TOWN
Fran Stone was born and raised in Abilene, Texas. She owns A-Town Cleaners in her hometown.
“Our specialty is cleaning garments that others can’t or won’t clean,” she says. “Sometimes you have to be creative when you clean certain items to meet the challenge. Generally wash-dry-fold, known as WDF, can increase revenue for dry cleaners.”
She was in the fire and water restoration business for 16 years prior to purchasing a drycleaning business in 2008.
“Our WDF service is OK. I feel we could do better at how we do it and market it. It is a good service to fill slow days, and can create chaos on busy days if you have an order that is last-minute, must-have,” Stone says.
It would be great if her WDF service was busy enough to have an employee dedicated to it. She says A-Town hasn’t had enough WDF work to keep an 8-hour employee busy doing only that every day. But there are days when it does.
“I have been operating this plant for 12 years. We have one cleaning plant, two drop stores, and route service to hotels, homes and offices. We were named SBA Small Business of the Year in 2018. We employ between 23 and 25 employees. Customers consist of bankers, lawyers, cowboys and teachers. We market to the age group of 26-65.”
She has two sons and a daughter, all married and with families of their own. “I’m ‘Gigi’ to five fun grand-boys,” she adds.
Stone has served on several boards in her community, cleaned for the Jackets for Joy campaign and for Night to Shine, and is a member of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce and Abilene Better Business Bureau.
Within the industry, she’s a board member for the Southwest Drycleaners Association and a member of the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute.
“We have had the best (WDF) success with hotels and workers traveling,” Stone says. “For getting the message to customers, we use our website and CSR offers at the counter. There are lots of other ways: billboards, radio, TV, but they are much more costly.”
WDF has increased A-Town Cleaners’ profits: “Yes, I would say it increased by at least 5%. Our average ticket is around $40.”
Stone offers a story as an example of her business’ WDF success:
“I have a customer that lost her nanny. She works full-time outside the home, and she asked if we could do her laundry. I told her, ‘Absolutely, get each child a bag to put their laundry in and we can wash-dry-fold it and the children can put it away.’ She was so excited and came back the next week with personalized bags for all six children and herself. She said we made her life so much better and gave her more time with her family.”
WDF can make life easier — better — for your clients and that is the message from Stone and, in Part 1, from the Poes. WDF service puts profits, and a better life, in the bag!
Miss Part 1? You can read it HERE.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].