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Dry cleaner makes the rounds to keep business going

Heard on:
Hangers Cleaners wash and fold laundry bags.

"It feels like a family here, but there are limits as far as what we can pay and still have a viable business," said Joe Runyan, co-owner of Hangers Cleaners. Courtesy Runyan

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My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

When Joe Runyan, co-owner of Hangers Cleaners in Kansas City, Missouri, opened his dry cleaning business in 2004, “the stores were not generating enough volume to justify the size of the processing plant” they had.

But then he tested a pickup and delivery service, which became a success.

“We grew like crazy that first year, and probably 70% to 75% of our piece count volume comes through our pickup and delivery service.” Currently, Runyan said, Hangers struggles with labor issues — trying to find the right employees or stay competitive with pay raises. 

“We try to stay ahead of the curve, but, man, when we lose somebody or we need someone because of growth, it becomes very difficult to find somebody to fill those gaps.”

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