Pandemic leaves dry cleaners struggling to find ways to boost business

Pandemic leaves dry cleaners struggling to find ways to boost business

Dry cleaning has been one of the industries hit the hardest by the pandemic.

John Rothrock owns Yale Cleaners and while the business has been opened for 75 years, he has never experienced anything like what the COIVD-19 pandemic has done to their business.

“Our business is currently down 35 percent,” Rothrock said.

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He attributes the drop to the number of customers who are working from home. They work from home in casual clothes and do not have a need to get items dry cleaned.

Rothrock also said the stay-at-home orders and quarantines has resulted in fewer parties and weddings that would require people to dress up and get items cleaned.

The drop in business has been dramatic enough that Rothrock said he’s had to furlough several employees and close one location.

The Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute has said that they believe 30 percent of cleaners could be forced to close their doors over the next 18 months.

Those that stay open will have to continue to find new ways to adjust. Some cleaners has started wash and fold services for families; others, like Yale Cleaners, has introduced new technology advancements to allow customers to pay online and get touchless pickup.