CHICAGO — Almost three out of four drycleaners (72.3%) believe that the U.S. is already in a recession, according to this month’s Wire survey, and nearly as many say the downturn is affecting their business directly.
Asked “Do you believe that the country is already in recession?” 72.3% of respondents answered “Yes,” while 27.7% said “No.” Asked whether or not their businesses had felt the impact of any shakiness in the economy in its sales volume in the last six months, 70.2% said “Yes” and 29.8% said “No.”
Incoming orders tend to be smaller as consumers have been forced to think twice about spending, several respondents reported. “Customers are bringing in fewer pieces and are more concerned about pricing,” one said. “That combined with higher fuel prices have created a very difficult dynamic for drycleaners. Our costs are increasing dramatically, and our sales are down.”
“Usually, we’re pretty busy this time of year,” another respondent says. Business “is much slower, probably down 7% to 10%. I think that gas prices have more to do with it than just a plain recession. We are a luxury, not a necessity.”