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Survey: Scales Predicted to be Most Troublesome New Fashion Style for Dry Cleaners

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — Arrival of new fall fashions signals some styles that could cause headaches for dry cleaners. Of the four new styles analyzed by American Drycleaner, scales (snakeskin) are predicted to be most troublesome, according to the latest Wire survey.

One-half of dry cleaners polled see scales as presenting the biggest challenge, but one-third of respondents believe that none of the new fall styles will challenge a skilled dry cleaner.

Small minorities of 8.3% pick “mix and match” (prints, weaves and textures) and “baroque” (high-necked collars, sheer lace, and frippery) as the most challenging new styles. No one who responded to the monthly survey sees “geometric” (bright prints and patterns) as posing a problem.

Roughly 58% of respondents say that once the new fall fashions hit the runways, they’ll be asked to dry-clean garments featuring these styles “within a matter of months.” One-quarter of respondents say they’ll start receiving new-style garments “within a matter of weeks,” and 8.3% say it will be “within a matter of days.” The remaining 8.3% “don’t know” when the new styles will start showing up in their plants.

In the November/December edition of American Drycleaner, columnist Diana Vollmer suggests partnering with retailers and even designers in promotion of fashion events as a way of increasing business exposure. None of the respondents to this month’s survey say they’ve ever tried something like that.

While the Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take the industry survey anonymously online each month. All dry cleaners are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

To sign up for the Wire, click the “Subscriptions” button at the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the instructions.

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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