When you start a new business, even a franchise, you expect there to be a few bumps in the road. A pandemic is another story. Yet in celebrating the one-year anniversary of his two locations-Lapels Dry Cleaning of Fort Mill, South Carolina and Lapels Dry Cleaning of Charlotte (Berewick), Todd Huston has chosen to make lemonade with several Covid-friendly activities.
"We were off to a great start and then a pandemic. You can't change that fact. But prior to that, things were going well. With a top notch customer service team in place, we were receiving stellar customer ratings and people were really responding to Lapels Dry Cleaning's environmentally non-toxic cleaning process and how that made their clothes look and feel better," said Huston. "So, instead of having an event in the stores and inviting a whole bunch of people to attend during a time when that's not the wisest move, we decided to hold some smaller activities that give back to the community and customers who have been so good to us this first year."
Those activities included partnering with Knowledge Perk, a local specialty coffee roaster, on an anniversary blend of Lapels coffee. Customers who arrived first to each store—Lapels Dry Cleaning of Fort Mill, located at 855 Gold Hill Road, Fort Mill, SC, and Lapels Dry Cleaning of Charlotte (Berewick), located at 4815 Berewick Town Center Drive, Charlotte, NC—received a pound of the anniversary blend of coffee. The top 10 customers for each location also received a pound of coffee.
Other promotions included giveaways and drawings with local merchants such as Amor Artis, a great local craft brewer, and Enricos, a very popular Berewick area pizzeria. The promotions also included one with Nothing New, an online retailer that makes footwear out of recycled products—something that fits in nicely with Lapels Dry Cleaning's sustainability efforts and environmentally friendly philosophy.
"While a big event would have been nice, safety has to be everyone's primary concern right now. And the giveaways have been very well received," said Huston. "We have also been pleasantly surprised by a recent uptick in business. In July, we actually welcomed a few hundred new customers, something you don't expect during a 'normal' month. So, we're feeling quite positive as we head into year two and as the greater Charlotte area comes out of the pandemic."
Lapels has pioneered its eco-friendly dry-cleaning experience over the past two decades. Lapels has a partnership agreement with GreenEarth®, the dry cleaning industry's only non-toxic cleaning alternative for its newer locations like Lapels Dry Cleaning of Fort Mill and Lapels Dry Cleaning of Charlotte (Berewick). Using these kinds of solutions and the latest technology in equipment, Lapels is one of the few dry cleaners able to boast that there is no hazardous waste in their process. Their environmentally-friendly cleaning process has no odor and is gentler on clothes, thus lengthening the life of clothes.
Lapels Dry Cleaning also sets itself apart with its customer service. Lapels customers are greeted to a warm and inviting reception area, with friendly customer service representatives, and alteration services.
In terms of its services, Lapels offers its customers Automatic Rewards earning them credit towards free dry cleaning for every dollar they spend, Loyalty Programs, a VIP Program which eliminates the need to wait in line, the use of a 24 Hour Drop Off Service and FREE Home Delivery to all its customers. During the COVID 19 pandemic Lapels also offers a "car hop" service where customers can drop off and pick up their clothing without ever leaving their cars.