Downturn Won’t Slow Plant Projects, Drycleaners Say

Ian P. Murphy |

CHICAGO — Three out of five (59.3%) drycleaners say they plan to build or renovate at least one plant or store in 2009, according to the most recent survey appearing in the Wire, American Drycleaner’s e-mail newsletter. About a third (31.5%) don’t have any plans for a plant project, and 9.3% aren’t yet sure.
Next month, the magazine will announce the winners of its 48th Annual Plant Design Awards, recognizing the best plant projects of 2008. It asked readers about their plans for 2009 to find out whether or not the current economic climate has had an adverse effect on building and renovations. Fortunately, many projects will move forward in the year to come, the survey says.
Of those who responded “Yes” or “Not Sure” when asked if they have plans to build or renovate, 28.2% say they will pursue ongoing, incremental improvements and updates to their locations. But almost as many (23.1%) report that they will launch a completely new store or plant in 2009.
Another 12.8% will give an existing plant or store a complete overhaul, and an equal number say they will make cosmetic improvements to plants’ public areas; 15.4% will perform an operational renovation of the plant’s production floor only. A smaller number of operators (7.7%) aren’t yet sure about the scope of their projects.
Operators planning a new build or renovation project say that they will spend money on outfitting their plants and stores with the latest equipment; 60.0% say they will buy new equipment or store fixtures as part of the project. Only about one in five drycleaners (22.0%) say they will not need new equipment or fixtures as part of the project, and 18.0% say they aren’t yet sure.
Subscribers to American Drycleaner’s Wire e-mails — distributed weekly — are invited to participate in an industry survey each month. The survey is conducted online via a partner website. Each survey is developed so it can be completed in 10 minutes or less. Readers are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.
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About the author

Ian P. Murphy

Freelance Writer

Ian P. Murphy is a freelance writer based in Chicago, and was the editor of American Drycleaner from 1999 to 2011.


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