Covid changes dry cleaning trends


Lockdown changes dry cleaning trends, reports Lewes firm

A Lewes dry cleaners, in business for over 25 years, has seen how the various Covid lockdowns have directly affected customer trends.

"It's actually been rather fascinating", said Goldfinch's director Alan Wood. “The first lockdown saw most of our regular customers staying away as the Government told us all to stay indoors. Then there was the first easing and we saw an inrush of household goods: cushion covers, curtains and rugs as people had been using their time at home profitably to do some spring cleaning."

The latest easing of restrictions and social distancing has seen another change, as Alan explains: "everyone seems much more concerned about their appearance again" and reports seeing an influx of formal clothing such as business suits to the Cliffe High Street shop.

“Social engagements are back in people’s diaries and gatherings are recommencing, so customers need to look their best again whereas, stuck at home all the time, personal appearance was far less important”, explains Alan who’s a qualified cleanologist. “There’s also a gradual return to working in offices again, albeit part-time for the moment in many cases, and the resumption of face-to-face meetings rather than those impersonal virtual gathering over the internet; all this is necessitating a change in our requirements.”

The family-run business has been hit by the pandemic but is now able to bring back some long-serving staff who have been on furlough. The shop has also just extended its opening hours to cope with the increase in dry cleaning.

One effect of the lockdowns has been Goldfinch’s introduction of a collection-and-delivery service across parts of East Sussex. “When customers were told not to leave their homes, we decided to take our services to them”, explains co-director Laura Hughes. The idea has really taken off and we are now going out three days a week covering an area from Eastbourne to Woodingdean, Laughton to Ditchling, and Seaford to Chailey.