Survey: Dry Cleaners Ready to Extend Holiday Cheer

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — This country’s dry cleaners plan to embrace the 2014 holiday season in a number of ways, according to the results of this month’s American Drycleaner Your Views survey.

Nearly three-quarters of dry cleaners polled (73.2%) plan to decorate their store(s) for the upcoming Hanukkah/Christmas holidays. Approximately 20% of respondents will not decorate, and 7.1% are undecided.

Decorating plans range from the basics—a Christmas tree or menorah—to full-scale winter and Nativity scenes. Here’s what some respondents described:

  • “We have a menorah and Christmas tree side by side.”
  • “Garland and lights on windows and counters.”
  • “Trees and lights. I’m a Christian and proud of it. No political correctness crap allowed in my store.”
  • “Color, lights, we make it a contest on how to get the most for $25 per store.”
  • “Life-size Santa in a snow scene with various characters.”
  • “We always put up a manger scene—a crèche.”

Approximately 61% of respondents will offer customers exclusive specials, give gifts or send cards during the holiday season, while 39.4% will not. Among the operators offering glad tidings, 31% plan to target their best customers while 29.6% will offer the holiday niceties to everyone.

About 42% of respondents believe that customers are typically in a better mood or appreciate their services more during the holidays, but an equal share (42.3%) are unsure. The remaining 15.5% say customers aren’t in a better mood or show more appreciation during that time of year.

When asked to list one item they would ask Santa to bring their business this year, the list was varied. Here are some examples:

  • “A more steady volume of business. No more ‘feast or famine.’”
  • “New [drycleaning] machine.”
  • “Competent help.”
  • “A new president and Congress.”
  • “Good health.”
  • “Less rush jobs...everyone is in a hurry these days.”
  • “More customers...or ‘big tuna’ customers.”
  • “To eliminate one-third of the dry cleaners in my market area.”
  • “An additional, exceptional location.”
  • “One person giving me a price I cannot refuse to sell and retire to Cayman.”

While American Drycleaner’s Your Views survey presents a snapshot of the trade audience’s viewpoints, it should not be considered scientific. Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.

Subscribers to American Drycleaner e-mails are invited each month to participate in a brief industry survey they can complete anonymously. The entire American Drycleaner audience is encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define owner/operator opinions and industry trends.

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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