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Are the Days of Dry Cleaning Over?

Is fast fashion killing dry cleaning?

There was a time not long ago when dry cleaning was a booming business. After all, people had to care for their fine items of clothing, such as suits, their Sunday best, and evening wear. Now however, dry cleaners are noticing a steady decline in business. Fast fashion and casual work clothing are making it unnecessary to own more expensive items anymore. Casual workwear and fast fashion are made of cheaper material that are machine-washable. Even the fact there are now smoking bans in most areas make it less necessary to dry clean clothing on a regular basis.

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With many employees working remotely from home, people no longer need suits or nicer attire. In fact, some are working from their couches in bathrobes!  And startup or tech companies often have a relaxed dress code, which means many of the items people wear to work can be cleaned at home. And who would pay $20.00 to clean a pair of jeans weekly when a pair of fast-fashion jeans can cost less than $20.00 brand new?

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Many Millennials have the mentality of “why spend money on something you’ve already purchased?” Yet, Millennials are the key demographic dry cleaners want to attract. So, they are thinking outside of the box to get the attention of this new clientele. They are marketing convenience to Millennials instead. Of course, Millennials can clean their own clothing, but why do it if you can have someone else do it for you? This convenience angle just might appeal to busy Millennials who will dry clean to avoid doing laundry themselves.

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This shift towards convenience when it comes to dry cleaning might help to keep this business alive.  After all, who would have ever thought video or record stores would go away? As times change, so do the things we need. And necessities for one generation can become virtually non-existent for the next.

 

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