North Texas dry cleaners struggling to stay open during health pandemic

The dry cleaning industry has been hit hard by the pandemic.    

People working at home and not going to social events added to the setback for this service industry business.

Customers were shocked to learn that Specialty Cleaners on East Mockingbird at Abrams is closing.

“Specialty Cleaners is our family business,” said owner Sana Valliani. “For the last 20 years, we have been here serving the community.”

The cleaners were serving with success until COVID-19 came.

“We only have 20% of business now,” Valliani said.

Specialty Cleaners struggled through the summer and has been trying to hang on, but they owe three months in rent: $9,500.

“If we don’t pay the whole rent, they'll lock us out and they won't give us a break on the rent,” Valliani said. “There’s no way I can pay the full rent.”

The press of the pandemic has been pushing hard against the dry cleaning industry. One report says sales are going to plummet in 2020, and many stores won't survive.

Daniel Joo has laid off some staff, cut hours and the number of days his Toudanines Cleaners operates. It’s taking a whole lot more to stay open and is unsure how this will straighten out.

As Valliani plans to close this week, she says goodbye to customers who are more like family and hopes to see them and serve them again.

“It makes my heart cry really,” she said. “Let’s hope for the best. Let’s hope for the best for everyone.”