Owner ready to retire
By Scott Bellile
New London’s downtown drycleaning service is closing its doors after half a century in business.
Drycleaners, Etc., 102 E. Cook St., will officially close shop on April 28.
Owner Richard Gauslin sold his customer list to Gunderson Cleaners, which has locations in Waupaca and the Fox Valley. Gunderson did not buy the New London store. The building will remain in the ownership of Gauslin’s landlord.
Because drycleaning is a lengthy process, customers do not have until the 28th to request services. Gauslin and his two staff members will personally handle orders through Friday, April 21.
Then through the morning of Monday, April 24, customers can still drop off orders at Drycleaners, Etc. that Gunderson will pick up and handle off-site. Gunderson will return these orders on Thursday, April 27.
After Monday, April 24, Drycleaners, Etc. will not accept any drop-offs, so staff can focus on returning customers’ orders and handling administrative tasks.
Drycleaners, Etc. never sold customers gift certificates. However, if any non-profit organizations have received a gift certificate from the business, Gauslin said Gunderson locations will accept it for the next six months.
Drycleaners, Etc. performs drycleaning, alterations, repairs and zipper work on garments.
It also has a UPS drop-off box out front. PC and Cell Solutions, 301 W. North Water St., will take over as a downtown UPS drop-off location.
Gauslin, 68, said Drycleaners, Etc. started in the mid-1960s. He became the shop’s fourth owner when he took over in 2001. Prior to that, he was a chemical salesman and sold into the laundry industry. He bought the business to take on a new challenge.
Gauslin said business is down in 2017. For whatever reason, people must not be wearing suits or dresses.
“The industry itself is going through a downturn again and it happens every seven or eight years, and we’re noticing it,” Gauslin said. “There’s just not enough business to support it. And I’m due for retiring anyway, because my wife says [so].
“I’ve had some health problems over the last year and that’s another thing that’s just took its toll,” he added.
Gauslin, an Appleton resident, said the business had a good run and he enjoyed serving a small community. He said he’s sure he will miss the work, but right now he is focused on processing the final orders.
“The people of NL are wonderful … all good people, honest, hardworking people, and it’s been a pleasure overall doing business here,” Gauslin said.