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Capitalize on Casual (Conclusion)

With right marketing, dry cleaners can become go-to experts in casualwear care

SAN FRANCISCO — Do you despair when you see public figures giving speeches in plaid flannel or when you see wedding guests wearing khakis? Does the “no-press” dress shirt at Brooks Brothers make you despondent? Does the local executive in the polo shirt send you into bouts of depression?

Stop fighting the casual lifestyle and embrace it instead. Does it really matter to you if you work on traditional wardrobes or on less formal garments? Either way, the consumer wants to look appealing. Their definition of the word “appealing” may have changed, but you can easily meet their requests for the care level they desire.


Give your consumers reasons to choose you:

Convenience — Even if a garment can be cared for at home, do your customers really want to spend their time that way? Convenience will continue to be a compelling factor that guides time allocation choices. Laundry and ironing are not the preferred way to spend scarce discretionary time.

According to Erin Doland (, “a typical family of four probably generates between eight and 10 loads of laundry per week. … Ten loads of laundry would take just over 12 hours to complete.”

How many of your customers want to spend 12 hours a week doing laundry? Use these statistics to sell your wash-and-fold services.

Add the convenience of your pick-up and delivery service and you present a compelling argument. By offering a choice of route locations that include home, work, gym, pool, daycare, club, hospital and more, you make the convenience irresistible.

Affordability — An article on saving electricity estimates the cost per load of laundry at $1.34, for a monthly cost of $58 and an annual cost of $697, excluding any cost for ironing. This makes your service look even more convenient and affordable.

Reputation and Dependability — Your prospects learn about your expertise from their friends, your awards, your certifications, your sales team, and your professional image in the market. Your customers already trust you with their most valued garments, so they know you can easily care for all their textile needs. Just ask for their business.

Awareness — Do your customers know all of your capabilities, including wash-and-fold services?

Do you display your services in ways that grab their attention? Example: Display unpressed khakis and polos next to professionally finished ones to show the difference professional care can make.

Do your vans do their job as rolling billboards and show casual wear as well as dress shirts and suits?

Does your website highlight casual clothing as well as traditional dry cleaning?

Is your social media directed at less traditional prospects who are more likely to dress casually?

Do you remind customers when it is time to have their seasonal garments readied for the imminent weather change?

Does your staff dress in professionally cleaned and pressed uniforms, or are they allowed to wash and dry their own apparel at home?


Once you embrace the idea of expanding your business with the expansion of casual clothing, you will find many ways to capitalize on this trend and convert it into profit.

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].