CHICAGO — Half of dry cleaners asked to offer their rough forecasts for sales in 2013 believe that volume will improve in their area next year, according to the results of American Drycleaner’s final Wire survey for 2012.
Sales volume will either “improve substantially, with at least a 5% year-to-year gain” (18.8%) or “bounce back a little, with a gain of 0% to 5%” (31.3%), these respondents predict.
But there are times when an increase in business for one cleaner means that other cleaners may be suffering or have even closed. “The market in our area is improving. Weaker competition is failing,” wrote one respondent. Another reported that pounds and pieces for 2012 matched 2011 while two cleaners closed nearby.
The economy drives the dry cleaning business, according to one cleaner: “When economy is good, dry cleaning is a necessity. When economy is bad, dry cleaning is a luxury.”