CHICAGO — For this, the final post of 2021, we’re counting down our 10 most popular stories, based on page views, that we’ve run this year on the American Drycleaner website. We covered No. 10 to 6 in Part 1 on Tuesday, and today, we’ll round it out as we open the book on 2022.
5. What Does the Future Hold for Dry Cleaning? (Part 1)
While there’s no substitute for experience, the drycleaning industry has entered into an era when past lessons might not apply to future decisions as well as they once did. For this feature series in September, we examined some of the shifting demographics and evolving consumer behaviors that were supercharged by the changes brought by the pandemic and asked industry experts what they thought the future held for the industry.
4. What Does the Future Hold for Dry Cleaning? (Part 2)
As we continued this three-part series about what the future would look like in the next few months, we asked some owners who were new to the industry about their opinions and outlooks. For those who joined the industry in the depths of the pandemic, with no reference to “how things used to be,” many found that they were free to design a business that would connect with today’s customers, offering them the services they needed with the communication they’d come to expect from modern businesses.
3. Lapels Acquires Martinizing, 1-800-DryClean, Others
In a move that created the world’s largest dry cleaning and laundry business, in May, Lapels Dry Cleaning and its equity partner, Greybull Stewardship L.P., announced the acquisition of Martinizing Dry Cleaning, 1-800-DryClean, Pressed4time, Dry Cleaning Station and Bizziebox.
With this merger, the new company — Clean Franchise Brands, LLC — had more than 500 stores in 40 states and nine countries. The new company, based in Tampa, Florida, offered multiple offerings for new and existing franchise owners, including, plants with retail stores, satellite stores, pickup and delivery, and the newly created Lapels Laundromat.
2. Supply Chain Reaction (Part 1)
As the pandemic receded and business started to pick back up, owners soon ran into a challenge many hadn’t expected. The supply chain that cleaners rely on for the materials necessary to do their work had been strained to —and in some cases far beyond — the breaking point. Items that once took days to weeks to deliver were now taking months, if they’re available at all, and cleaners and suppliers around the country felt the pinch (and many still do).
We spoke with dry cleaners and suppliers in this series from July on the reasons for the shortages and when they thought things might even back out.
1. DLI Names Board of Directors for 2021-22
In August, the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI) announced its board of directors for the 2021-2022 term. The board, made up of industry professionals who own and/or operate fabricare businesses and are members of the organization, are key to charting a course for the organization.
At the top of the list, Jess Culpepper of Culpepper Cleaners in San Antonio, Texas, was named chair, while Bobby Patel of Kona Cleaners in Costa Mesa, California, was named president.
As the new directors are sworn in, their predecessors move on to an executive position or become DLI Senators.For Part 1 of this list, click HERE.