Category: Dry cleaning industry
Every new entrant into the dry cleaning market place will enthusiastically tell you all about their plans to “revolutionize” the industry.
They’re always full of “new” ideas that, they believe, will turn the dry cleaning business on it’s proverbial head and generate wealth beyond their wildest dreams.
More specifically, they’ll tell you that they’ve developed a “new concept” — a better mouse trap. And that everything will be “different” and “better”.
Dig a little deeper and you’ll soon recognize that most of these “new” ideas have been around for quite a while and that there’s nothing new to be found.
Fact is, the only thing “new” about their concept is the glitzy marketing package that surrounds the very ordinary product they deliver.
In this post, I use Procter & Gamble’s franchised operation, Tide Dry Cleaners, to illustrate my point.
Every dry cleaner swears that they really care about your fine garments and household textiles.
But do they really care?
Out of 26,000 dry cleaners in the USA, how many really care about your fine garments, household textiles and accessories? I’d bet fewer than 25.
In this post, I’ll explain why the work delivered by value (discount), ordinary (middle market) and most wannabe (illusion) dry cleaners is incompatible with caring.
Many dry cleaners glue or heat seal barcodes on your fine garments and household textiles.
When you ask dry cleaners why they glue or heat seal barcodes on your fine garments and household textiles, they’ll tell you that they do so in order to “track your items through their production system”.
That’s the pronounced reason or spin. The real reasons are different.
So the critical question is this: What should you do if you discovered that your dry cleaner glued or heat sealed a barcode onto any of your garments or household textiles?
The overwhelming majority of dry cleaning customers probably couldn’t care less. All they want is a “cleaned and pressed” garment or household textile at the cheapest possible price.
Other customers — particularly those with a large investment in their fine garments and household textiles — may frown upon this practice. For those individuals, what are your options?
In this blog post, I prescribe a course of action and, if that fails, an alternative approach.
Ordinary cleaners have a unique approach to setting prices. They start by analyzing the prices charged by other cleaners in a 5 to 10 mile radius prices. Then they ignore those comparative prices and set the final price by sucking it out of thin air, modifying it to end in a 1, 3, 7 or 9 and confirming it by gut instinct.
Their prices are, in effect, the highest prices they think they can charge relative to the competition and relative to the “quality” of the product they deliver.
Then they spend months agonizing whether their prices are set at the appropriate level.
In this post, I hypothesize that the primary reason customers patronize ordinary dry cleaners is because of price, not quality of product. I also argue that customers who focus solely on price are customers that are not worth pursuing under any circumstances.
On the other hand, if ordinary dry cleaners dramatically improved the quality of the product they offered, their clients would drool over the quality of their work and they wouldn’t have to spend years agonizing whether their prices are set at the appropriate level.
Almost every new entrant into the dry cleaning industry talks about delivering “quality” to their customers.
These new entrants believe that the “right” location, the “right” equipment, the “right” eco-friendly dry cleaning solvent, the “right” computer system, the “right” app and the “right” amount of effort will miraculously produce “quality” and, as a consequence, financial success.
They soon realize, however, that the overwhelming majority of their customers just want their garments “cleaned and pressed” for the lowest possible price and in the fastest time — two major impediments to delivering true quality cleaning.
In this post, I discuss why building a sustainable business that delivers true quality cleaning is so difficult to achieve and why these new entrants into the dry cleaning industry quickly shift their goal from “quality of product” to “growth in piece count” as a way to generate the cash necessary to keep the doors open.
Imagine that there are only two dry cleaners in a particular city.
Further, imagine that they’re situated next door to one another.
One has a sign which that says True Quality Cleaners; the other sign says Ordinary Cleaners.
Let’s say that you mostly shop at high-end boutiques and department stores, that you have a relatively significant investment in your fine garments and that you have the financial resources to pay for the very best in on-going maintenance of that wardrobe.
Which of these two cleaners would you choose?
The purpose of this post is to help you make an informed decision by highlighting the differences between extraordinary (true quality) dry cleaners and ordinary (middle market) dry cleaners and the operating philosophies underlying those differences.
Almost every dry cleaner in the USA competes on the basis of “better customer service” and “cheaper prices”
This is dry cleaner code for targeting the largest segment of the market — the vast middle market between the discount cleaner and the extraordinary cleaner.
In this blog post, we explain why dry cleaners prefer to compete on the basis of “better customer service” and “cheaper prices” and why they almost never talk about the quality of product they deliver — the primary reason why you entrust your fine garments, household textiles and accessories to a dry cleaner.