Pandemic takes drastic toll on dry cleaners

In work-from-home era, 1 in 6 has closed or gone bankrupt

National /
Nov.November 25, 2020 10:30 AM
As workers trade in suits for sweatpants, 1 in 6 dry cleaners has closed or gone bankrupt (Getty)

As workers trade in suits for sweatpants, 1 in 6 dry cleaners has closed or gone bankrupt (Getty)

At J’s Cleaners, business had clawed up to 40 percent of pre-pandemic levels last month. But now, with Covid-19 soaring again, that number is expected to plummet.

“If this thing keeps dragging, many small businesses will close. Maybe I could be one of them,” owner Albert Lee, who plans to permanently shutter four of his 15 locations, told Bloomberg. He is losing $1,000 to $2,000 monthly per store.

As workers abandon suits for sweatpants, dry cleaners are having an existential crisis, the publication reported.

One in six dry cleaners has closed or gone bankrupt in the U.S. already, and many won’t survive without more federal stimulus, according to the National Cleaners Association. The industry’s revenue is half of the $7 billion it enjoyed pre-Covid.

“It’s an ugly, ugly time,” said Nora Nealis, executive director at the trade group, which has more than 2,000 members. “Most of them are holding on with their fingernails in hope of help.”

[Bloomberg] — Sasha Jones


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Brix Holdings CEO Craig Erlich (Photo via Brix; Getty)
Friendly’s saved from bankruptcy, preserving 130 locations
Friendly’s saved from bankruptcy, preserving 130 locations
North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Georgia (left) with Brookfield's Brian Kingston (iStock; Brookfield; Google Maps)
Converting empty malls to warehouses isn’t easy
Converting empty malls to warehouses isn’t easy
Before the pandemic, national tenants paid 94 percent of rent. (Getty)
Retail rent collections rebound to 90%
Retail rent collections rebound to 90%
Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti (Getty)
Shake Shack to add 60 new locations this year
Shake Shack to add 60 new locations this year
Walmart suspends political contributions to GOP lawmakers who opposed President-elect Joe Biden’s election certification (iStock; Getty)
Walmart cuts off cash to pols who opposed election certification
Walmart cuts off cash to pols who opposed election certification
(iStock)
Leisure and hospitality lost 500K jobs in December
Leisure and hospitality lost 500K jobs in December
Empty offices, shut down retail stores, closing restaurants and literal fires are among the biggest real estate disasters of 2020. (Getty)
Worst of the worst: The real estate disasters of 2020
Worst of the worst: The real estate disasters of 2020
Half of U.S. states will be raising the minimum wage in 2021 (Getty Images; iStock)
Minimum wage to be raised in half of US states in 2021
Minimum wage to be raised in half of US states in 2021
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...