By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
New Oriental Cleaners yesterday told Tribune Business that a “double digit” sales decline had forced it to close its Shirley Street/Okra Hill location, although no jobs will be lost.
The dry cleaning chain will operate nine New Providece outlets as of June 30 due to the permanent closure, with the two impacted employees redeployed elsewhere in its operations.
The company is also carrying out renovations to its Shirley Street/Hawkins Hill location from June 15-22.
“We’re closing because of a sales decline. We just can’t keep operating. The sales are down in the double digets, just like most businesses now. It’s just not cost effective to be spread out so much,” said Lana Lee-Brogdon, New Oriental’s president.
“We’ll have nine locations remaining with the closure of that one. We had seven what we called branch stores, not an operating plant. We trimmed down our plants to three. We used to have six five years ago but with the cost of fuel and energy so high we had to scale down on that as well.”
Mrs Lee-Brogdon added: “Sales are just too thin to keep so many little stores open; it’s just not cost effective at all.”
#She said the economic climate and business environment continues to impact how her business operates.
Jiffy Cleaners, another dry cleaning chain, was forced to shut down in 2011 due to tough business conditions, exacerbated by roadworks that impacted its operations.
Spotless Cleaners likewise closed out its eight locations in 2013, leaving 42 persons unemployed.