When Kyle Panther opened the doors of Martinizing Dry Cleaners four years ago, he was determined to differentiate his business. In a world where customers are used to convenience, Martinizing Dry Cleaners set out to offer customers a variety of services with a focus on making the process easy.
“People are used to having options and I knew that as a dry cleaner, we needed to recognize that to stay current,” owner Kyle Panther explains.
In addition to traditional dry cleaning service, Martinizing also provides service for household laundry, comforters, rugs, drapes, shoe repair and more. With an eye on convenience, the business also offers pickup and delivery service so that customers never even have to leave their homes.
“We have been in the same location on East Boulevard for 25 years and have been under the Martinizing brand for four years,” says Kyle. “Since adding our delivery route several years ago, our service area has increased significantly. Our pickup and delivery routes now service from Uptown south into Ballantyne and also into the Waxhaw and Weddington areas.”
Customers can utilize the service depending on their individual needs. They can be added to a regular delivery route or can use the service on an as-needed basis. The company also has lockers in many apartment and office buildings around the city that are part of its pickup and delivery service routes.
“Our biggest focus is on the convenience of our services,” says Kyle.
Pickup and delivery service has allowed the company to expand its’ customer base. It’s no longer just about relying on customers that walk in the front door. “We have numerous customers that have never set foot in our store but use the delivery service on a regular basis.” Kyle points out that some prefer to drop off in the store and then have their items delivered back to them, while others complete the entire process from the comfort of their home.
“With a population that is increasingly used to receiving deliveries such as food, clothing or packages, without having a face-to-face interaction, that made pickup and delivery service a logical expansion plan for us,” says Kyle. There is no extra fee for pickup and delivery. Some people may be surprised, but offering the service at no charge is quite common for the industry he explains.
Knowing that time is limited and customers are busy, the company decided to make its’ business model even one step easier. It launched an app last year allowing customers to set up delivery, track orders and communicate with the store right from the device of their choice. “We realized in this fast-paced society we live in, we needed to be available 24/7 and the app allows us to do just that, connecting us with customers when it is best for their schedules,” Kyle explains. Once downloaded, the app allows customers to input payment options, schedule pickup and drop-off days and include any special directions needed about their order.
All of these changes have helped business, especially during the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Covid-19 has had a significant effect on the dry cleaning business in the area,” Kyle explains. “Fewer people going into the office has not been great for dry cleaners. With pickup and delivery, we are able to still service customers while allowing higher-risk customers to stay at home and not run more errands than are absolutely necessary.”
Martinizing has not needed to close or shorten any weekday hours. Kyle says luckily they have been able to keep their staff employed and working. In recent months the business has implemented several new safety precautions due to the pandemic, including installing plexiglass dividers in their lobby area, having employees wear masks and disinfecting high-touch areas in the morning and several times throughout the day.
“The industry as a whole is down significantly since the pandemic started and everyone has to be creative to keep things running. Fortunately, we had already built that foundation and simply had to add to it,” Kyle says. “Whether it is our different cleaning offerings, our app and ability to communicate with the customer or our multiple pickup and delivery options, it is all about being flexible in this environment.”
For more information about Martinizing Dry Cleaners, call 704.372.0009. Martinizing Dry Cleaners is located at 1408 East Blvd, Suite AA, Charlotte, NC 28203.