The Staycation Effect

This year the Staycation has been top of the list when it came to holiday destinations. Maybe not always a first choice for many but none the less, a chance to check out some of those places that make Britain great.

Thankfully this change has offered a lifeline to many businesses up and down the country, not least small to medium laundries. Cole & Wilson tell us about two of their clients’, one in North Wales and the second in Cornwall, who have seen business rocket over the last few months as people looked for a change in scenery following weeks of lockdown.

Monarch Cleaners in Prestatyn, is a family business that has been serving the local community for over 40 years. Mikey Lloyd and his sister Annie now run the business on a day to day basis offering a range of services to commercial and private customers all over North Wales and Cheshire.

“We’ve had almost a season’s worth of work in just over a couple of months,” stated Lloyd. “even those customers we do occasional work for saw a dramatic increase in business.” Monarch work with a range of B&Bs, small hotels, as well as a large amount of local private customers with personal linen to launder. This local business and their contracts with the North Wales Police and Fire and Rescue Service, helped them stay open all through lockdown, operating a reduced working week.

However, by mid-July people were flocking to the area, desperate to have a break and keen to find accommodation. Following the provision of the required PPE, Monarch rapidly moved from a short working week to extended split shifts with its workforce of 25 working flat out. Things are now back to near-normal for this time of year, confirms Lloyd, but the rise in business couldn’t have come at a better time and has made a huge difference to us.

Down in Cornwall, LJ Laundry Services experienced a similar situation. Usually a popular holiday destination from Easter onwards, COVID-19 hit their business badly in March and the laundry actually shut for two weeks. Again, buoyed by its local private customers who needed a laundry service, LJ re-opened running on a skeleton staff offering services for its local elderly customers and NHS workers. With most now having more time at home, there was also an influx in curtains and upholstery items.

Set up by two friends, Hayley Richards and Hilary Mansell, this small business in Redruth has, over the past decade, grown into a multi-faceted laundry that operates from Lands End to Trispen and out to the Roseland Peninsula.

Mandy Solomon, who joined LJ at the outset as a part time driver now manages the laundry but both Richards and Mansell are still involved in the business and continue to drive it forward. “As soon as lockdown ended, business in the campsites and holiday homes went crazy,” explains Solomon. “We had all the staff back in off furlough, working flat out. It was a really busy July and August and business is still not quieting down as yet.

“In the winter months we usually launder a lot of graduation gowns, this year we won’t be seeing that, but people are holidaying later and as Cornwall has been a safe area COVID-wise, it’s been a bumper, extended summer all round. “One thing we noticed is that our customers were really glad to have us, appreciative of our services. A situation like this makes people realise just how much they rely on the service and support industries that keep their own businesses running.” LJ saw such an increase in linen requests from holiday lets and pubs offering rooms that they had to buy new linen supplies. This was the area of business that increased the most as people sought the safety of private lets, whereas their wedding dress service has understandably tailed off.

“We have diversified to fit the situation, providing the services that our customers need most. We now offer a dissolvable red bag service for our clients; we supply the bags and their guests pack the used linen themselves, avoiding any contact with potentially contaminated linen down the line. This has provided peace of mind for our customers, letting them know we are taking hygiene matters very seriously.”

Darren Brown, Cole & Wilson business development manager works with Monarch and LJ Laundry Services, providing drycleaning, wetcleaning and professional laundry liquids along with state-of-the-art dosing systems. “It’s been great to see my clients bounce back to full speed. Laundries like these are part of the essential supply chain that often get overlooked but they have really risen to the challenge during this difficult time. In my 25 years in the industry, I have never seen anything affect the industry in the way COVID-19 has. “These smaller laundries have benefited through supplying linen to the likes of AirBnB’s, rented lodges and cottages, which large commercials are not geared up to deal with. In keeping their businesses running they have provided a lifeline to the UK holiday industry, especially in rural areas.

“Hopefully the new year will see things get back to normal but whatever happens they are better prepared, with new skills and knowledge that can only benefit their customers and the industry in the long run.”

This year the Staycation has been top of the list when it came to holiday destinations. Maybe not always a first choice for many but none the less, a chance to check out some of those places that make Britain great.

Thankfully this change has offered a lifeline to many businesses up and down the country, not least small to medium laundries. Cole & Wilson tell us about two of their clients’, one in North Wales and the second in Cornwall, who have seen business rocket over the last few months as people looked for a change in scenery following weeks of lockdown.

Monarch Cleaners in Prestatyn, is a family business that has been serving the local community for over 40 years. Mikey Lloyd and his sister Annie now run the business on a day to day basis offering a range of services to commercial and private customers all over North Wales and Cheshire.

“We’ve had almost a season’s worth of work in just over a couple of months,” stated Lloyd. “even those customers we do occasional work for saw a dramatic increase in business.” Monarch work with a range of B&Bs, small hotels, as well as a large amount of local private customers with personal linen to launder. This local business and their contracts with the North Wales Police and Fire and Rescue Service, helped them stay open all through lockdown, operating a reduced working week.

However, by mid-July people were flocking to the area, desperate to have a break and keen to find accommodation. Following the provision of the required PPE, Monarch rapidly moved from a short working week to extended split shifts with its workforce of 25 working flat out. Things are now back to near-normal for this time of year, confirms Lloyd, but the rise in business couldn’t have come at a better time and has made a huge difference to us.

Down in Cornwall, LJ Laundry Services experienced a similar situation. Usually a popular holiday destination from Easter onwards, COVID-19 hit their business badly in March and the laundry actually shut for two weeks. Again, buoyed by its local private customers who needed a laundry service, LJ re-opened running on a skeleton staff offering services for its local elderly customers and NHS workers. With most now having more time at home, there was also an influx in curtains and upholstery items.

Set up by two friends, Hayley Richards and Hilary Mansell, this small business in Redruth has, over the past decade, grown into a multi-faceted laundry that operates from Lands End to Trispen and out to the Roseland Peninsula.

Mandy Solomon, who joined LJ at the outset as a part time driver now manages the laundry but both Richards and Mansell are still involved in the business and continue to drive it forward. “As soon as lockdown ended, business in the campsites and holiday homes went crazy,” explains Solomon. “We had all the staff back in off furlough, working flat out. It was a really busy July and August and business is still not quieting down as yet.

“In the winter months we usually launder a lot of graduation gowns, this year we won’t be seeing that, but people are holidaying later and as Cornwall has been a safe area COVID-wise, it’s been a bumper, extended summer all round. “One thing we noticed is that our customers were really glad to have us, appreciative of our services. A situation like this makes people realise just how much they rely on the service and support industries that keep their own businesses running.” LJ saw such an increase in linen requests from holiday lets and pubs offering rooms that they had to buy new linen supplies. This was the area of business that increased the most as people sought the safety of private lets, whereas their wedding dress service has understandably tailed off.

“We have diversified to fit the situation, providing the services that our customers need most. We now offer a dissolvable red bag service for our clients; we supply the bags and their guests pack the used linen themselves, avoiding any contact with potentially contaminated linen down the line. This has provided peace of mind for our customers, letting them know we are taking hygiene matters very seriously.”

Darren Brown, Cole & Wilson business development manager works with Monarch and LJ Laundry Services, providing drycleaning, wetcleaning and professional laundry liquids along with state-of-the-art dosing systems. “It’s been great to see my clients bounce back to full speed. Laundries like these are part of the essential supply chain that often get overlooked but they have really risen to the challenge during this difficult time. In my 25 years in the industry, I have never seen anything affect the industry in the way COVID-19 has. “These smaller laundries have benefited through supplying linen to the likes of AirBnB’s, rented lodges and cottages, which large commercials are not geared up to deal with. In keeping their businesses running they have provided a lifeline to the UK holiday industry, especially in rural areas.

“Hopefully the new year will see things get back to normal but whatever happens they are better prepared, with new skills and knowledge that can only benefit their customers and the industry in the long run.”

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