How COVID has Impacted Dry Cleaners

Trends show that people are starting to switch from their work sweats to their work slacks.

At first, dry cleaning took a dive

It makes sense, right? When all offices closed down, weddings were canceled, and work from home became the norm, dry cleaners saw a decrease in route and retail volume. Simply put, the garments that call for dry cleaning were not getting worn. 

Luckily for us at The Folde, wash and fold laundry became increasingly popular to counterbalance the dramatic drop in dry cleaning volume. 

The decline in dry cleaning is well documented by NPR, Bloomberg, and CBS - among many others. 

Impact of COVID on Delivery Dry Cleaners | The Folde | Austin & Houston, TX

National data provided by SPOT Systems

Sales increased as summer approached

But the numbers can be a bit misleading here. While dry cleaning specific sales went from -70% to -50%, garment counts trailed behind. Instead of sending their typical wardrobe to the dry cleaners, people were instead opting to take care of their household items with dry cleaning treatment. 

Instead of shirts, slacks, and dresses, dry cleaners saw more household items like comforters, curtains, and table cloths. 

Impact of COVID on Delivery Dry Cleaners | The Folde | Austin & Houston, TX

National data provided by SPOT Systems

Consistency encouraged dry cleaners to stay optimistic

Spring 2021 brought most delivery dry cleaners up from -50% to -30% on dry cleaning specific sales. 

At The Folde, we've noticed the same uptick in dry cleaning - though wash & fold remains strong. While not everyone is trading their sweatpants for their work slacks, it certainly is trending that way.  

Whenever you do make that trade, we're here to help!

Impact of COVID on Delivery Dry Cleaners | The Folde | Austin & Houston, TX

National data provided by SPOT Systems

Some Trends We've Noticed at The Folde

We see a lot of laundry! Here are some takeaways:

You're Not Home

For most of the quarantine, our drivers got used to seeing people around the neighborhood or in their yard. Now, we're noticing that you're not home for your pickup and deliveries. Traffic is coming back too - which is probably directly related. 

Workout Gear

As summer has drawn closer, we're noticing an uptick in workout gear sent in wash & fold orders. In fact, hang dry requests are up over 15% as we enter the warmer months. Because of this, we are releasing a specific delicate treatment bag soon! Keep an eye out!

Monochrome

In the height of quarantine, tie-dye was all the rage! DIY tie-dying has become a fun way to unwind while stuck at home. It has since been replaced with monochrome garments. What was once a laundry bag of abstract art is now more commonly monochrome and plain. 

Ready to schedule your next delivery laundry service?

Wash and fold laundry and dry cleaning delivery in Austin & Houston, Texas.