CHICAGO — Operating costs jumped in the first quarter, according to a panel of industry operators tapped by AmericanDrycleaner.com to provide financial and cost data anonymously for use at the site. Even ahead of the tariffs that caused hanger prices to shoot up in April, operators nationwide saw costs rise an average 14.5%.
Operators in the Western states saw costs increase the fastest in year-to-year comparisons for the three-month period, experiencing an average 19.0% rise. With a 27.4% decline in sales in the same period, drycleaners in these states are facing a challenging business environment. “Where is the nearest window?” one asked.
Drycleaners in the South say that costs grew 9.5% in the first quarter, while operators in the Midwest reported a 7.0% average increase in costs — both well ahead of the nation's reported core rate of inflation, 3.9%. The Northeast’s statistical sample was too small to include.
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