The move may also affect strategies within the group and open up a fresh opportunity in drycleaning where it is also the market leader.

Jim Wilkinson, the Group’s chief financial officer, told LCN that Johnson was now exploring the possibility of combining its corporate clothing and drycleaning strengths to offer a combined supply and care service to corporate clothing customers. It was already trying out the idea with Dimensions. Wilkinson stressed that the project was only at the trial stage, but if successful, agreed that it could open up a new market sector, as currently none of the corporate wear suppliers offers such a service.

The increased corporate clothing strength, means a decline in the importance of textile rental within the Johnson Service Group. It will now account for less than one third of Group business, whereas two years ago it accounted for around half.

Wilkinson added that he did not see this as reflecting a general downturn for textile rental.