LAUREL, Md. — Bill Fisher, CEO of the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), recently appeared on the Voice of America (VOA), the official radio and television broadcasting service of the federal government, to talk about the economic state of the drycleaning industry.
In an interview with reporter Ye Yuan, Fisher explained that the drycleaning industry hit hard times long before the rest of economy went into recession, and that the decline is now approximately 30% to 40%.
“For the past three to four years, we’ve been acutely aware of the economic stress in the industry and have been providing members with the best information available on business and cleaning,” he said.
The situation recalls the recession of the 1970s, he added. Plants can improve their chances for survival through the downturn with diversification, superior cleaning and good customer service.
“Cleaners who are able to ride it out and keep their businesses open will see an increase when their competitors begin to close up,” Fisher said. “There are too many plants cleaning clothes, and not enough clothes to go around. As plants close down, the plants staying open pick up some of that cleaning.”