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Threading Our Way: Supply Chain Status

Garment care business owners, suppliers weigh in on supply pipeline

CHICAGO — As our world fights to open up, with health and safety at the forefront, we put out a call for suppliers and garment care business owners to share their views on how the supply pipeline is doing right now during COVID-19. Here are some of the responses from professionals across the garment care industry:

  • “The supply chain for standard items has been OK for the most part, but it’s tough to get a true read because we are using so little product. The issue has been with the items like gloves and sanitizers.” — Mike Ross, owner, Aristocraft Supply, Oxford, Mass.
  • “On average, the U.S. market is down 46.6% compared to 2019.” — Mark Jones, owner, SPOT Business Systems, Draper, Utah.
  • “We are starting to see things get better, depending on the part of the country you’re in. Some areas are seeing much better improvements in sales than others.” —Jeff Schapiro, president, Cleaner's Supply, Conklin, N.Y.
  • “The quote activity is up a bit, maybe 20%, but not at normal levels yet. What I do notice is, if I normally have 10 RFQs per day, I have four to six per day now, and they want them in 30 minutes, not fair. Our backlog is about the same, 10-12 weeks, as orders are still coming in.” —Michael Leeming, national sales manager, Parker Boiler Co., Los Angeles, Calif.
  • “We are down from three plants to one right now. Our supplies are doing fine, and one of our suppliers tells us their inventory levels are pretty high on most everything and will last at current sales levels. The supplier, who asks to be anonymous, notes: ‘One foreseeable struggle is if things open up and get going quickly, it might get hard to supply and in some cases take several months, but that would be a welcome challenge.’” — Gary Glover, president and owner, Puritan Cleaners, Richmond, Va.
  • “We have been bettering our sales every week. We went from being 25% of normal sales to 65% recently. My feeling is that sales will stop at 80% of normal sales for now and will not get to 100% for a long time unless competition goes out of business. In time, we will see a lot of closures. This business is changing drastically. Only the fittest will survive.” —Bobby Patel, owner, Kona Cleaners, CRDN, Orange, Calif.

American Drycleaner continues to follow the latest industry developments in light of COVID-19 and will bring them to you when available.