Survey: Attracting New Customers Top Priority for Many Dry Cleaners

Bruce Beggs |

Getting organized ranks highest among personal priorities for 2016

CHICAGO — Attracting new customers is the top 2016 business priority for the majority of dry cleaners (42.4%) polled, according to results from this month’s American Drycleaner Your Views survey.

Other dry cleaners say their top priority is to “raise prices and/or cut costs” (18.6%), “explore extra services or new opportunities” (17.0%), “add/update equipment” (10.2%) or “spruce up [their] store(s)” (3.4%).

The remaining 8.5% of dry cleaners surveyed listed “other” top business priorities, such as improving staff, informing clients of service diversification, and paying off land and building loan by the end of the year.

Looking back at 2015, 45% of cleaners say their drycleaning operation met “some” of its goals, while 25% met “all of [its] goals.” Twenty percent “did not meet [its] goals,” while 10% set no goals at all.

In terms of their personal priorities for 2016, the majority of dry cleaners would like to “get organized” (37.5%), while 28.6% want to spend more time with family and 21.4% want to “lose weight or improve [their] fitness.”

The remaining 12.5% of respondents see other things as their No. 1 personal priority, such as “play/travel more,” “start new business,” “improve relationships,” or “get debt-free.”

No one who took the survey chose “quit smoking/drinking” as their No. 1 personal priority.

The majority of dry cleaners are optimistic about meeting their business and personal priorities for the new year, as 49.2% say they have a “good chance [to] accomplish both goals.” Roughly 27% say they have a “50/50 chance,” while 18.6% say “there’s no doubt” they will accomplish their goals. The smallest share believes they have a “slim chance” (5.1%); no one who took the survey believes there is “no chance” they will accomplish their 2016 goals.

While American Drycleaner’s Your Views survey presents a snapshot of the trade audience’s viewpoints, it should not be considered scientific. Qualified subscribers to American Drycleaner e-mails are invited to participate in a brief industry survey they can complete anonymously. Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.


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