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Why Are Dry Cleaning Prices About to Go Up? — Dollars and Sense

mlehet, flickr

If you have a lot of your clothes dry-cleaned, you might want to set aside a little more of your monthly budget for the expense. Prices are about to go up, and — with our apologies to ‘Mommie Dearest’ — you can blame it on those darned wire hangers.

Seems most of the hangers used by American dry cleaners come from Vietnam, which saw itself slapped with new trade penalties by the US last week. That means the cost of the hangers could double, and since cleaners often go through about 3,000 of them a month, they have to pass on those costs to their customers.

Flora Yadegar, who operates four dry cleaners in California, expects she’ll soon have to add another 30 to 55 cents to the bill for cleaning a suit, pants or a shirt. She knows it could drive away customers — especially the ones who’ve already cut back on cleaning to save money — but she doesn’t want her businesses to join the 4,000 US dry cleaners that closed last year due to the skyrocketing cost of cleaning solvents and other supplies.

“I have to do it,” Yadegar said about raising her prices. “Otherwise how am I going to survive?”

[CNN Money]

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