WHEN ONLY THE BEST WILL DO!
Laundry & Cleaning Today recently visited Buckingham Dry Cleaners in the heart of London’s Mayfair
Any drycleaning company that comes recommended by many of London’s leading fashion designers and prestigious department stores has to be at the top of its game, which is where you will find Buckingham Dry Cleaners – a company that provides high-end services to high-end customers.
The business is owned and run by husband and wife team Alan and Stella Buckland, who established their business some thirty years ago having previously researched the central London area and found a gap in the market for a drycleaning service that put quality and customer care at the very top of its agenda – a policy that has proved itself over the years, as the first customer that walked through the door back in 1984 is still a customer today. And if even more proof were needed then the one example that stands out from all the rest is the customer who is a collector of vintage clothing and sends her prized pieces all the way from New York in the United States of America to have them cleaned and cared for by Buckingham Dry Cleaners.
In addition to Alan and Stella the company employs ten staff, each of whom have their own area of responsibility within the company. The list of services provided is comprehensive and is what you would expect from a company of this standing:
Collection and Delivery
The company offers a free collection and delivery service to home or office on a three-day turnaround within the boundaries of central London. Even faster turnarounds are available at a slightly higher premium.
An alteration and tailoring service is available on the Mayfair premises. All needs can be discussed with the company’s resident machinist.
On-site Express Service
For those last minute drycleaning and tailoring emergencies a ‘same day’ service is on offer.
The company launders shirts to the highest standards using the latest technology and returns them either hanging or folded depending on customer choice. This service represents approximately twenty per cent of weekly business and often attracts additional custom.
Household Laundry and Curtain Cleaning
The company launders all household linens including sheets and blankets and can even clean curtains and arrange for a technician to take them down and re-hang them after cleaning.
Wedding Dresses and Ball Gowns
These items with their delicate fabrics and trims are cleaned by a very gentle process and returned to the customer in pristine condition.
Of course none of this would be possible without the right processing equipment installed. With this in mind, Alan Buckland called in James Holt and Matt Dowse of Parrisianne Dry Cleaning Solutions to discuss the matter. Clearly this was not going to be a quick fix as there was much to consider; not only the choice of equipment but also how best to tackle an installation of this size when taking into consideration the logistics of the project, as the building threw up a number of problems. All the processing machinery was to be installed in the basement of the building, which meant that access to the production area required a lot of ingenuity on behalf of Parrisianne’s engineers. Then, once the problems had been solved, all the machines had to be stripped down and reassembled on site. From concept to conclusion the whole project was planned over several months and the installation itself took a considerable number of days before the plant could be commissioned and handed over to Alan and his team. (See box for details of the machinery installed.)
“It was a real challenge,” said Matt Dowse, “but the end result brought a great deal of satisfaction all round.”
The equipment has been up and running now for some three years and Alan Buckland says everything has performed beautifully. “The hydrocarbon machine has been a great asset when cleaning delicate fabrics, and I am delighted with the Sankosha shirt units, although we still touch up some shirts by hand, in order to meet the requirements of our discerning customers. We rarely have a problem with any of the equipment but if anything should happen then we are safe in the knowledge that Parrisianne are always there for us.”
LCT found the visit to Buckingham Dry Cleaners both informative and encouraging. There are always lessons to be learned, especially when it comes to quality and customer care.