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Tide Rises (Conclusion)

Night or day, this plant design catches the eye

CHICAGO — Flow and efficiency.


Two words to describe the award-winning plant design layout at the new Tide Dry Cleaners store in Sarasota, Florida.

“From the outside to the inside, it’s a beautiful building,” says Robert Lyons, president and CEO of Consolidated Cleaners Inc., the franchisee owner of nine Tide Dry Cleaners (TDC), in Florida, describing its newest plant at 8452 Tuttle Ave., Sarasota.

“The plant flow is efficient, it’s comfortably air-conditioned to benefit both customers and employees, and we provide our customers with the best quality in dry cleaning,” Lyons says.

The Sarasota plant — which is all about workflow, plant efficiency, and the smiling faces of its employees and customers — is the winner of the 2019 Grand Prize in American Drycleaner’s 58th Annual Plant Design Award.

“Parent company Procter & Gamble, known as P&G, got into the services industry with one of its top brands, Tide, with a laser focus on using environmentally safe processes,” Consolidated notes.

It did this by “delivering best-in-class customer service through our carefully selected local franchise partners and through ‘PODs,’ what we call 24-hour service; utilizing access to P&G’s fabricare experts; and creating transparency to where garments are being cleaned.”

Consolidated describes itself as a “highly esteemed group of individuals” that own and operate nine TDC units — seven on Florida’s west coast and two on the east coast — making them one of the top franchisees in the network.


“We have fabulous teams of people with many years of drycleaning experience,” says Lyons. “The Tide team gives input on construction and design and brings templates for our franchise team to work with, all to develop the best and most efficient layout.”

The design starts from what the firm terms, “An ‘ideal template,’ that is adjusted for every location, given different dimensions and door placements. From there, it is reviewed and approved on a ‘design call’ where it receives input from the development, marketing, and operations teams before it is released to the architect of record, MHK in this case, for construction documents.”

MHK is used on all of Consolidated Cleaners’ Tide stores, Consolidated says.

“The ‘design intent drawing’ was done in June 2016, and the store opened in March 2018,” it adds.

The building itself, which has two other attached retail spaces next door, “is owned by a couple of the principals,” Lyons relates, “and leased by Consolidated Cleaners. A nail spa business has recently moved into one space. We’re in the process of leasing the other space.”

Lyons says that since the building is owned by an affiliated company, they look for “‘Daily-use’ types of co-tenants, that are ‘traffic-drivers’ for sure.”

About selecting the equipment in his new plant, Lyons says, “All of our stores start with the same basic idea and equipment package, and then modifications are made. For instance, in this new location, this is one of our largest plants, with two drycleaning machines.”

Other products used in this new Tide plant include GreenEarth solvents, spotting chemicals by A.L. Wilson, pad covers from Unipress, and spot cooling by Unico. Tampa Bay Supply is the distributor.

Consolidated Cleaners has won several awards from the franchisor for operational excellence. Lyons points out, “You can see a list of achievements on the Consolidated website, including four Tide Dry Cleaners Franchisee of the Year Awards for the years: 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.”

Also on its website is this description of the group and its plans: “Consolidated Cleaners Inc. was founded in 2012 to merge its partners’ real estate and operational capabilities with the innovative concept of revolutionizing a basic service — dry cleaning.

“Consolidated Cleaners has partnered with Agile Pursuits Franchising Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Procter & Gamble) to develop Tide Dry Cleaners in markets across South Florida.”

About Tide, it writes: “Tide has been a leader in innovation since its creation more than 65 years ago and now has expanded beyond at-home laundry care by delivering the quality Tide is known for to the drycleaning industry. Tide Dry Cleaners’ purpose is to create a drycleaning experience with an unrivaled level of clean and care for customers’ garments.”

Consolidated Cleaners has locations operating in Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Boca Raton, Parkland, Wellington/ Royal Palm Beach and Sarasota, with additional locations under development.

The firm’s principals saw an opportunity “to build a business that would be a successful operation for family and friends to run for years to come.”

Those family and friends can no doubt look forward to a flow of customers to the attractive-looking new Sarasota plant. Walking in or driving through, night or day, the design catches the eye.

As 2019 begins, Tide rises up as the winner of the 58th annual Plant Design Award, an award originated by American Drycleaner in 1961 to call attention to the best in drycleaning plant innovation.

“The new plant is pleasing to the eye,” Lyons says, “but we’re all about efficiency, and all about providing the best-quality dry cleaning for our customers.”

To read Part 1, go HERE.