Retail Tech Trend: The Future of Dry Cleaning

CD One management says this new approach cuts nearly five minutes from the average dry-cleaning customer's wait time.
Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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CD One Price Cleaners — a laundry and dry-cleaning service with nearly 40 locations across the Midwest — is opening its first locker-based location in Hopkins, MN.

Customers are familiar with the typical dry-cleaner store experience. Clients come in, wait in line, walk up to the counter, and provide their garments to a counter associate. Then — when the garments were ready — customers come back, wait in line, walk up to a counter, and wait as the counter associate would use the rotating rack to find their garments. CD One's new locker-first store expedites this process for customers.

Now, customers create an account on CD One's in-store kiosk and mobile app, drop off their garments in a bin, and receive a text message when they are ready for pickup. That text message contains a locker number and a four-digit code to find and pick up their clean garments. CD One management says this new approach cuts nearly five minutes from the average customer's wait time.

The new approach comes at a time when dry cleaners and other retail-based businesses across the country are experiencing labor shortages and rising costs.

"The dry cleaning and laundry landscape is changing at an incredible pace, and we want to make sure we're continuing to be ahead of the curve while providing exceptional service for our customers," said Tom Ryan, CD One's vice president of franchise development. "This new process helps reduce wait time for customers while allowing us to expand our pickup and delivery services to a larger portion of the Minneapolis market."

The new approach also provides customers flexibility and allows the Hopkins store to be accessed 24 hours a day for pickup and drop-off. Customers receive a code to unlock the front door via CD One's mobile app to access the building during early morning and nighttime hours. The Hopkins location still provides over-the-counter service, but Ryan says the plan is to move to a full locker-based model very soon.