Squeezed at both ends Most drycleaners win new customers through quality and service. But there are those who buy market share. Low-price, high-volume businesses proliferate and “You only get what you pay for” is not only true, it is a free-market option.

Many families have been tempted to invest in a drycleaning business, buying themselves a job rather than a commercial undertaking. But when ‘the job’ consists of both husband and wife working 12 hours-a-day, no time off and much worry, and all for single-figure margins, is the game worth the candle? Those who complain about the competition’s ‘sub-economic pricing’ will themselves spend many hours phoning around for the cheapest suppliers, they will play off equipment manufacturers against each other and when a machine breaks down, instead of calling for a skilled engineer, they automatically reach for a big hammer. There will always be a demand for quality, service and keen pricing.

Bill Evett