Views / Toronto / Mom and Pop Shops

Dry clean by delivery: Press a button, make your steams come true

Necessity, I was once told, is the mother of invention, and with TIFF officially now in full swing it makes perfect sense to highlight CleanitOnline.com — a business that wants to save Torontonians time and money with their mobile dry cleaning startup.

It seems dry cleaning has gone the way of courier packages, cauliflower (see urban farming) and most recently condoms — bought, paid for and delivered to your home.

Isn’t progress grand?

“We saw this idea being used in major urban centres in the U.S. For example, in New York, and we thought Toronto would be the perfect place to roll this out because people are busy,” says Ryan Dingman, cofounder and director of CleanitOnline.com.

The simplicity behind the business model is key to its current success. Customers living or working in the downtown core (expansion is coming across Canada, says Dingman) call and schedule a pickup time. A company representative arrives at your work or home (or both) to retrieve your dirty clothes and send to a local dry cleaner.

Dingman is loath to reveal the location of the dry cleaner he and his team use for their on-the-go business, fearing competitors might look to muscle in and seek out similar opportunities.

“We took two months researching dry cleaners to find the perfect one and people could find out where we go if they really wanted to, but we’re not going to tell them,” he says with a laugh. Although the mobile dry cleaning business is a new concept in the industry with few other competitors, Dingman believes CleanItOnline.com will become the place for Torontonians to turn to for dry cleaning services, primarily due to its convenience and low rates.

“We’ve styled the business so that we don’t have the same costs that a brick and mortar business would. We don’t have the same overhead, for example, so we can offer a service at our rates.”

What do you think of a mobile dry cleaning business? Would you trade your corner store dry cleaner for one that drives to you?

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