National Clothesline
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May 2018
National Clothesline
The long haul. For almost the last
three decades, Bob Marks, owner of
Ruthy’s Cleaners in Owosso, MI, has
navigated the twists and turns of the
drycleaning industry, but his journey
on that road started long before that,
appropriately enough, in the cab of a
semi truck.
Counting cleaners. The drycleaning
business has always been difficult to
quantify, but the federal government
takes its best shot at counting
cleaners every five years. The census
begins this month.
Orphan routes. There is a tendency to
put successful routes on the back
burner and the inevitable result, says
James Peuster, is that the routes
slowly, steadily decrease.
Stop leaks. Bruce Grossman explains
how to seal areas that do not have
pre-formed gaskets or where
installing a pre-formed gasket would
be difficult and time consuming.
New rules. Heightened awareness of
sexual harassment calls for new rules
for the workplace. Frank Kollman
offers some informal ones that should
keep everybody out of trouble.
Birmingham bound. SEFA is taking its
trade show to Birmingham next
month, offering free admission to the
exhibits, a tour of the M&B Hangers
factory and a host of seminars.
Better management. A leadership
forum in Virginia Beach this month
will focus on improving management
practices of drycleaning businesses.

Complete table of contents
of this issue
here.
View the flipbook version here.
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New techniques for new customers
During the Southwest Drycleaners
Association’s first-ever convention
outside of Texas, the overall message
was clear: drycleaning is not dead, but it
is changing and those who want to
remain in business in the future will have
to find a way to keep up with the
increasingly fast world.
As older generations continue to retire
and hang up their power suits and formal
outfits, younger people are more
frequently wearing disposable clothes
and the industry will have to find a way
to be lightning quick, incomparably
convenient and to creatively digitally
market to those who aren’t so
knowledgeable of drycleaning services.
“It’s probably not going to get a whole lot
better anytime soon,” noted Jon Meijer,
director of membership for DLI during his
program on “Today’s Customers,
Technology and the New DLI.”
Meijer’s talk touched on some of the
same themes as many other educational
sessions during SDA’s 2018 Cleaners
Showcase at the Shreveport Convention
Center last month.
He cited statistics from the American
Apparel and Footwear Association that
indicate Americans recently bought, on
average, 68 garments and eight pairs of
shoes per year, a figure unparalleled
throughout the history of fashion.
Garment disposability is far from the only problem; Millennials and younger generations are simply not
familiar with going to the drycleaners and in a technology-based society, fewer professionals need to dress
up. Still, if technology is causing some of the problem, it can also help solve it.
“Convenience is always one of the biggest issues. It’s the definition of convenience that has changed,”
Meijer added. “Today it’s all about the delivery of products and service.”            
More…
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