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It’s a Hanger, Not a Crisis

by aline on June 7, 2012

Early this week, the national news was full of stories about how “your dry cleaning bills are going to go up!” because increased tariffs imposed on Vietnam will result in price hikes on hangers. Our local Fox44 also ran this story during the evening news.

As a client of Gadue’s, here’s how much this international news will affect your dry cleaning bill: ZERO.

In fact, as a member of several national trade organizations (the North East Fabricare Association, the Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute, and Methods for Management) this increase in hanger prices is not news to us. In anticipation of this potential increase in some hanger costs, we have already been working with our suppliers to ensure that we continue to receive quality hangers at reasonable prices.

Like all things in life, managing our costs is a balancing act:

Top Quality Supplies = Increase Costs
Efficient Use of Supplies = Decrease Costs
Increase Productivity = Decrease Costs

The supplies that allow us to do our job—and return garments to you clean, pressed, perfectly presented, and protected—are expensive. We buy Kreussler’s SOLVONK4 as our dry cleaning solvent, so that your garments are cleaned in an environmentally friendly manner. We also buy Kreussler’s special soaps and sizings for our dry cleaning machines, wet cleaning machines, and washing machines—because they’re the best. We purchase protective poly to wrap your orders that is both biodegradable and recyclable, because we are committed to environmental sustainability. This is all part of the continuing cost of doing business. All of the ultra modern equipment that we have purchased in the last five years has allowed us to become more productive than every before. This being said, the reality is that much more of our costs actually lie in producing the work, not in our supplies.

Regarding efficient use of supplies… in order to return your garments to you in good form, most garments need to be on a hanger. We really can’t reduce the number of hangers we use without decreasing the number of garments we do… and that’s a downward cycle for our business. So, we definitely don’t want to do fewer pieces! We CAN reuse hangers though. And we already do. Many clients bring in a week’s worth of dry cleaning along with last week’s hangers. We reuse everything we can, and recycle the rest. This gets the tangle of wire hangers out of your closet, and keeps them out of our landfills.

Here’s the bottom line: Gadue’s Dry Cleaning is not going to raise prices due to increased hanger costs. We are going to step up our “Hanger Reuse/Hanger Recycle” program—not just because of hanger costs, but because it’s the right thing to do.

So check your favorite Gadue’s location for a convenient hanger caddy to carry your used hangers on your next trip. Hanger trees are available in each store for used hangers, or just hand them over to our friendly customer service staff, who will happily sort them for you. Remember—if one of your freshly cleaned garments is on a hanger that looks like it might be refurbished, it’s just us doing our part to keep costs down and to keep Vermont green.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 802-879-3144, or e-mail me at I would welcome your comments.

Aline Gadue Stirling

PS—Does this mean that Gadue’s Dry Cleaning will never raise prices ever again? Sorry, that’s not a promise I can make. As always, my goals are to provide exceptional value to my clients and to run a successful business. Despite pressures on gas, fuel, health insurance, wages, etc., our prices have not gone up since I instituted a nominal increase more than two years ago. Some time in the future I may need to raise prices… but it won’t be because of increased hanger costs!

Read the original article from CNN Money here:

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