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California cleaners organize relief effort for Sandy victims
In an effort to support the American Red Cross’s relief efforts for East Coast victims of Superstorm Sandy, 17 cleaners offered to donate a percentage of their daily sales.
The promotion took place back on Wednesday, Nov. 14, and brought in $8,250 that was directly donated to the national relief organization.
Every little bit helps. In the Red Cross’s One-Month Report on Superstorm Sandy published in early December, the organization had raised nearly $170 million altogether. In that first month in the wake of the storm, it had already provided more than 7.4 million meals and snacks and distributed over 5.2 million relief items including cold weather items like blankets and coats.
Red Cross also had provided almost 79,000 shelter stays and more than 86,000 health services and mental health contacts for people who suddenly found themselves living in very tough conditions.
The drycleaning support effort was organized and orchestrated by media marketing consultants BeCreative360, based out of Orange County, CA.
Originally, the idea was spawned by BeCreative360 owners Bobby Patel and Dave Troemel who respectively serve as owner and general manager of Kona Cleaners in Costa Mesa.
“We were going to do it for my cleaners,” Bobby Patel recalled. “We thought of having one day — I think we chose a Wednesday — where we would give 10 percent of all the money that came in that day.”
However, it soon occurred to Patel and Troemel that the idea might be perfect for their clients at BeCreative360, as well.
“That day we called everybody and almost everybody wanted to participate,” Patel added. “So, we sent out email blasts to all the customers in the customer base promoting that.”
The drycleaning companies chose which percentage they’d donate for the daily sales. The vast majority opted for 10 percent.
Thirteen of the cleaners were from California, including: Alex’s Dry Cleaning Valet and Lakeside French Cleaners of San Francisco; Boston Cleaners of Riverside; Carr’s Cleaners of Turlock; Dry Clean Club of Santa Ana; Esteem Cleaners of Pasadena; Martinizing Cleaners of Fresno; Ogdens Cleaners of Marina Del Rey; Perfect Cleaners of Los Angeles; Tarzana Cleaners of Tarzana; View Cleaners of Irvine; and Fresh and Kona Cleaners of Costa Mesa.
The four remaining participating companies were located all across the country: Caesars Cleaners from Honolulu, HI; Regency Cleaners from Tempe, AZ; Tuchman Cleaners from Indianapolis, IN; and Zoots Cleaners from Portsmouth, VA.
Overall, the promotion proved to be quite effective in increasing sales for the day.
“There was a lot of positive feedback,” Patel noted. “It was a win-win situation because our sales were up about 30 percent that day.”
Other participating cleaners reported a significant increase as high as 50 percent over the previous six-week average for Wednesday sales.
“It was more successful than I thought it would be,” admitted Patel.
The promotion had been a spur-of-the-moment idea, but Patel hopes to do it again in the future on a larger scale.
“Hopefully we can incorporate more cleaners,” he said. “If we could do this as an association and everybody got together, we could have raised $100,000. It could be huge. If it should get a big dollar amount, then the drycleaning industry would get good exposure.”

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