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Counting Down 2023’s Top 10 Stories (Part 1)

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CHICAGO — As we get ready to take on a new year, let’s take a moment to review the stories posted here on our readers read the most in 2023.

(Click on the heading to visit each story. When the Top 10 story was part of a larger series, we have provided additional links so you can easily read the entire article.)

From No. 10 to No. 6, the list was:

10. DLI Names 2023-2024 Board of Directors

Each year, the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI) Board of Directors brings on new members as other members retire or move into Executive Committee positions. In August, the organization bid farewell to Chairman Bobby Patel of BeCreative360 and Kona Cleaners in Orange, CA and Ed Longanecker of Iris City Cleaners in Mount Pleasant, IA.

Coming onto the board was Dan Sims of Jim’s Formal Wear in Trenton, IL and David Grippi of Clean Brands in Naples, Florida. Jeff Schwegmann II moved to the Chair position while Kathy Benzinger became President for the 2023-2024 term. Kyle Nesbit became President-Elect and Toran Brown was elected Treasurer. All Executive Committee positions are for the 2023–2024 term. 

9. Using Automation to Ease Labor Concerns, Part 1Part 2Conclusion

One of the major pain points of dry cleaners in 2023 — and of most owners of small to mid-sized businesses in the country — was finding enough people for their workforce. While business was steadily returning after the pandemic downturn, labor issues were keeping many cleaners from taking full advantage of their opportunities. This has made automation an increasingly attractive idea for these owners.

American Drycleaner spoke with experts and cleaners about this trend that is only picking up speed as we enter 2024. While automation might not be a cure-all for their labor issues, cleaners who go in with the right attitude and expectations can make the most of the labor available to them.

8. Tide Cleaners Opens Four Drycleaning Stores in Charlotte

After a couple of years of loss in the drycleaning industry, its exciting to see companies start to expand again as business comes back, even if that business might look a little different than it did before. 

Charlotte, N.C. franchise operator Consolidated Cleaners Inc. saw the opportunity to expand in the market and announced the opening of four new Tide Cleaners stores in Charlotte in 2023. These new stores were in addition to the three existing stores and home delivery services from the Charlotte franchisee.

7. Dates Set for the 2025 Clean Show

It’s the biggest show in the fabricare industry in North America, but even the Clean Show wasn’t immune to the pandemic’s ability to wreck scheduling plans. 

Delayed from 2021 until 2022, the normally bi-annual show found itself out of sync with other national and international events, so organizer Messe Frankfurt decided to delay the show until Aug. 23-26, 2025 to get back on track with its normal scheduling. 

6. Cleaning Couture Clothing, Part 1Conclusion

Cleaners who can gather the equipment and training to take care of top-dollar clothing and other material can carve out a valuable niche that can bring in big business. 

For this series, American Drycleaner spoke with Jason Loeb, owner of the South Florida-based Sudsies Garment Care. 

When Loeb decided that his business would start offering cleaning services for high-end couture clothing, he knew that his team would need training and special equipment. Delicate pieces that can cost thousands of dollars, after all, demand a different level of care. We examined the equipment Loeb entrusted to do this delicate work, as well as the ways he and his team tried to limit the environmental impact of the process.

Come back Thursday, when we’ll reveal our top five articles of 2023!

Counting Down 2023’s Top 10 Stories

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