|Why Should You Pay More?|
Top Hat Dry Cleaner's Mike Moran explains why you should
A new customer asked why he should pay me more than his usual dry-cleaner to have his £700, hand-made suits serviced; a good question in these times. While I don’t like to answer a question with a question, I asked him why he had these four wonderful suits on my counter and not on that of his normal dry-cleaners. His reply was “Well, the suits have lost their shape, feel and body”, so I answered his question.
The difference he will be paying for is experience and investment in equipment, materials and staff, and the overall quality that produces. We always make sure we are up-to-date with developments within the textile industry – manufacturing and materials, and cleaning techniques and products. When it’s worthwhile we invest in new equipment and ensure our staff know how to maximise its capabilities.
With reference to my new customer, the soap we add to the dry-cleaning process is the best you can buy in Europe, not the cheapest. This affects the “feel” of the garments, improves their antistatic properties, enhances the brightness of the colours and also offers better stain removal properties. Without getting too technical, it aids dirt particle suspension properties - the soap helps to suspend the dirt particles in the solvent and stops them being re-deposited on to other garments, causing “greying”.
The computer controlled programmes we use are not “factory standard” templates but rather we have used our experience and training to customize key aspects of the cleaning process: rotation of the drum, spin speed, solvent temperature, drying temperature etc. We also distil 80% of the solvent with each load; this is more expensive but it makes sure the solvent is perfectly clean and pure each time we process clothes. We also buy higher grade solvent in the first place, again not just the cheapest.
Both my manger and I have over 25 years experience in the dry-cleaning industry and we oversee our staff to assist and educate them in all aspects of the process. Our presser has ten years experience in a specialised skill that requires at least five years of supervision before you can call yourself proficient.
Convenience is another factor: we open at 7am each morning, allowing commuters early access. Additionally our customers can also collect their dry-cleaning 24/7, whenever it suits them, using our “Auto Valet” collection system.
All this adds up to what we consider to be old-fashioned value for money, and that is why that new customer had his £700, hand-made suits on the Top Hat counter...
March 28, 2011