The significance of diversifying your business has never been more prevalent than it is in the current state of our global economy. We’ve witnessed businesses around the world—not only in dry cleaning but in all retail spaces—dependent on over-the-counter sales with no other source of revenue, forced to shutter their doors. It’s an unfortunate case, but it’s the reality of the situation. Those businesses that quickly adapted and diversified—if they were not already—have in large part been able to weather the storm.
In the early weeks of 2020, prior to the onslaught of the COVID-19 virus, GreenEarth partnered with a Brooklyn suit retailer, 9tofive. This partnership of course was slowed down due to public restrictions, but we’ve continued to grow our partnership and have introduced relationships between 9tofive and several Affiliates across the country, providing an opportunity for additional revenue for 9tofive as well as our Affiliates. The service offered by GreenEarth Affiliates for 9tofive customers is the tailoring of the suits purchased online, as well as one dry cleaning paid for by 9tofive.
For years, alterations have been an excellent method for diversifying your business, reaching a new audience, and optimizing your existing customers’ spend. Even through this past year, many of our Affiliates have reported alterations as one of the contributing factors in their ability to remain open and bring customers to their store. Whether those customers have purchased items online, they’re getting married, they’ve gained weight, they’ve lost weight, or maybe they’ve saved some money this year and have acquired some high-dollar garments they want to fit perfectly, there is a need for alteration services.
We recently spoke with GreenEarth Affiliate and the owner of Kingbridge Cleaners in NYC, Richie Aviles. Kingbridge operates a large, upscale tailoring business as a part of their store. Richie shared some of his thoughts with us in regard to his tailoring business.
“Being able to provide pickup and delivery and having different types of customers through TV shows and hotels were all things that saw us through the pandemic. But alterations were also a huge part of that. Dry cleaning pieces unilaterally changed in volume, but the tailoring business was interesting because people weren’t buying clothes, they were sitting at home wearing Lululemon. Maybe they were gaining or losing weight, or only shopping online and unable to buy the correct size. So naturally, their next stop was to the tailor. I don’t want to say that our tailoring business was gangbusters. Volume dropped off significantly, but tailoring sales have really helped through COVID as contributing to overhead. Even prior to COVID, we have certain customers that come to us because we can tailor and clean their garments; we’re a one-stop-shop. Having all your eggs in one basket is incredibly dangerous, having multiple means of income hedges your risk. Diversifying our business has allowed us to be very positive for what the future will hold.”
Understandably, we’ve all experienced the overwhelming feeling of uncertainty. The question of “how do we get through this?” has been front and center in everyone’s mind. There’s clearly no one simple answer to that question, but from the thousands of conversations we’ve had with GreenEarth Affiliates over the course of the last 10 months, there has been a common theme around those cleaners who have been able to weather the storm, and that is finding ways to diversify your business in order to drive some sort of revenue.