CHICAGO — Most dry cleaners rue the trend that has seen many dress codes shift to business casual, and more than three-quarters of respondents (76.1%) to this month’s AmericanDrycleaner.com Wire survey say the ongoing movement toward casual clothing in the workplace has had a major impact on the industry.
Approximately 22% say the business casual dress code has had a “minor impact,” and 2.2% say it has had no impact.
What impact has casual clothing had on overall drycleaning sales volume in the last few years? Roughly 43% say their sales have decreased substantially (more than 5%) each year, and 31.8% say theirs has decreased slowly (0-5%).
Nearly 14% say their sales have been flat. Sales have increased slowly (0-5%) each year for 6.8% of respondents, and 4.5% say their sales have increased substantially (more than 5%).
So, what if anything, has your plant done to respond to this trend? Among Wire survey respondents, 53.3% have explored new sidelines to fill excess plant capacity and 46.7% have targeted casual clothing as a source of business.
Roughly 18% have encouraged a return to more formal business attire, and a similar share of respondents have tried other things, including increasing routes, adding hotel uniform and valet work, and targeting a higher-income clientele.
Nearly 16% have done none of the above.
This topic generated a lot of comments from the cleaners who responded to the survey. Here is a selection:
While the Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.
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