Illinois General Assembly

Dry cleaners, seeking new ways to survive, take inspiration from restaurants and retail

Dry cleaners, seeking new ways to survive, take inspiration from restaurants and retail

Rafiq Karimi Jr. isn't about to let anything or anyone get in the way of cleaning clothes.

Not consumers wearing lower-maintenance casual clothes to work. Not retailers selling inexpensive "disposable" fashions. Not telecommuters staying in their jammies. Not smoking bans lessening the need for trips to the cleaners. Certainly not garment-makers replacing silk, wool and other delicates with cotton and polyester blends that hold up to laundering in standard washing machines.

Hundreds of dry cleaners in Illinois have closed in the past two decades, but Karimi's Westchester-based CD One Price Cleaners is among those trying to adapt in an industry that, despite a...

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