WHITE LABEL EXPANSION: Pictured are Gareth Hodgen, managing director at White Label Cleaners and Judith Armstrong, business banking manager at Danske Bank
A drycleaning company has invested £500,000 to purchase two new stores and relocate to larger premises in Banbridge. The investment was supported by Danske Bank.
White Label Cleaners was formed in 2010 by Gareth and Susan Hodgen. The business now operates three stores – Victorias in Carrickfergus, Presto Clean in Lisburn and White Label Cleaners in Banbridge. The Lisburn store operates a 24/7 drop off and collection kiosk for customers to avail of at a time that suits them. The company currently employs 11 staff in total and cleans more than 2,500 items per week.
Gareth Hodgen, managing director at White Label Cleaners, said: “I started White Label Cleaners in 2010 as I didn’t feel there was a good service locally. I moved our business banking to Danske Bank to support our growth and they have helped us purchase two of our competitors in Lisburn and Carrickfergus.
“Our business has grown rapidly and we decided we needed to move to larger premises to support our future ambitions. We’ve doubled our unit size to 11,000 sq. ft and my other business, Groom Formal Hire and Wedding Cars, has also relocated to the same premises. Since moving to our new facility, our sales are up 20%-30% with our automation processes greatly increasing our overall efficiency.”
He added: “The Banbridge store is going to be a central hub for all our services and we’re investing in further automation technology. Our automatic bagging machine is a first for a drycleaners in Ireland and it is saving us around £20,000 a year in labour. We’re hoping to open a fourth store in 2020 and we’re also going to be launching a mobile app very soon.”
Judith Armstrong, business banking manager at Danske Bank, said: “White Label Cleaners has had a presence in the local area for nearly a decade. The new unit has been vacant for over a year, so this is a timely boost for Banbridge’s retail offering.
“The acquisitions of Victorias and Presto Clean was a strategic decision by Gareth and his team, accelerating the growth of the business. This new facility will support the needs of the company as it continues to expand in the years ahead.”