Looking for a
The year was 1975. A young woman fresh out of
school took a job in the drycleaning industry not
expecting to make any kind of career out of it. After
all, that was, as she remembers it, “an ugly time” for
the industry which was being decimated by the wash-
and-wear recession that knocked out upwards of half
of all the cleaners in the country.
That temporary job turned into a life’s work and now,
44 years later, Nora Nealis is the executive director of
the National Cleaners Association and once again sees
an industry in trouble. At NCA’s Texcare convention in
October she offered her analysis of the state of the
industry and some hope for the future.
“If I look at those cleaners who were around in 1975
and are still around today, most recognized what was
happening in the market and did some things
differently,” she said.
So what’s happening in today’s market and what can
be done differently? More…
While some cleaners are adapting their businesses to
look to the future, others are thinking it may be time to
fold the tent and retire. This means finding a buyer for
the business they have spent years creating.
But the number-one strategy for cleaners looking to sell
and get out of the business is, according to Alan
Spielvogel, the worst of all possible strategies.
“I get calls all the time: ‘Find me somebody. I want to
get out,’” said Spielvogel, technical services director of
the National Cleaners Association.
He discussed buying and selling strategies at NCA’s
Texcare Show in Secaucus, NJ, cautioning that the
knee-jerk emotional “get out now” approach is the least
“We are all victims of declining volume and expenses
going through the roof,” he said. More…