The weather is playing a big role in shutting down a Wichita Falls business that's been open for more than 20 years. Quality Cleaners is closing on Saturday. The owner, Dave Schmitt, says they've been striving to keep Quality Cleaners open for the past two years, but factors like the economy, this year's extreme heat, and the February Freeze all snowballed and forced him to make a tough decision.
Wichita Falls Resident Charles Hyman says, "I've used this Quality Cleaners for over eight years. They are superior. They've done the best job. My wife never washes my clothes. They always do it at the cleaners. We've been here. We will hate to see them go, but I understand times." Quality Cleaners Employee Christina Barrera says, "The sad thing is, is that I've built a home here. The employees and the customers. And the laundromat and the cleaners both. It's just sad. It's like a chapter in the book that I don't want to end." While customers and employees are sad to see the facility gone. It's just not enough to help the business survive.
Schmitt says, "Everybody is talking about budget deficits and cutbacks. And people are holding on to their money. And one of the first things they cut is our cleaning services." He says they are a victim of the market. Schmitt says consumers as a whole are basically stating this business is not needed at the time. He says the early heat of the summer had people wearing clothes they can wash themselves a lot earlier than normal. And he says he would usually profit during the winter months because people needed sweaters and coats cleaned. But the February Freeze closed businesses and schools, and stopped his cash register from filling up. So now he's moving on and looking for a job.
Schmitt days, "It's tough out there for everybody. We're selling our house. We're downsizing. I'm going to be just like everybody else. Instead of hiring people, I'm going to look to be hired." Residents are in shock, sad to see this business go down, and they're saying their goodbyes. Anne Poplin says to Schmitt, "I love the personal touch you gave us, and that has meant so much to me." And he says, "That's what it's all about. After it's all over, I want to be friends with people." Hyman says, "Very, very good. All the ladies and the men in there know me by name. When I walk in, they give me top service."
Schmitt says people will have until this Saturday night at eight to come pick up their clothes. Quality Cleaners does say there will be a contact number provided on the door of the business for anyone who is not able to pick up their dry cleaning by closing time Saturday.