CHICAGO — Six out of 10 drycleaners (61.1%) responding to the most recent Wire survey say they pass on the costs of solvent taxes and fees to their customers. But not all of these operators inform consumers about the reason behind the higher price.
Roughly one-third (31.5%) pass along the costs and inform customers; some give the added charge a name such as an “environmental impact” or “recycling/energy” fee. Slightly fewer (29.6%) assess the fee within their pricing as another “cost of doing business.” And 38.9% say they do not pass along the costs at all. “We do not charge a waste fee because our customers will go somewhere else,” one says.
“Most operators are shy about any cost increases,” another operator says. “Otherwise, I would not hesitate to add a percentage to at least cover the cost. Each operator who does should absolutely tell their customers; put the blame on overkill from the environmental nuts. If we don’t pass on such costs, it comes directly out of our pockets.”