PEMBROKE, Mass. — Family Drycleaners, in Hull, Mass., sells children’s toys in its front-counter section. Dolls, games and wooden toys are its stock in trade. Management says this adjunct business does well because no one else in town carries children’s toys. If a customer wants a nice wooden toy, say, as a gift, they have to buy it at Family Drycleaners.
Such selling of unrelated products goes against the conventional wisdom of Drycleaning Management 101. Do what you do well—process clothes efficiently and cleanly. Peddle ancillary trade—alterations, shoe repair, etc. And, if you sell anything in the front, make sure it’s related to garment care—lint brushes, stain stick, clothing bags and the like.
Sometimes, you go against conventional wisdom because selling unrelated products makes sense. In Marfa, Texas, there is a Laundromat/coffee shop/ice cream parlor—a three-in-one business. The reason it works is because Tumbleweeds Laundry is the only laundry, the only ice cream shop and the only “pure” coffee shop in the small town of 2,200.