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Perhaps your schedule doesn’t allow you to conveniently pick up or drop off your dry cleaning during typical business hours.
Or maybe your favorite neighborhood dry cleaner was one of the businesses that didn’t survive the pandemic with so many people working from home and not generating much clothing that needed to be professionally cleaned.
While Embassy Cleaners on Scarsdale Avenue in Scarsdale has moved into a new location for one of its three down-county brick-and-mortar operations, the largest portion of the business is its door-to-door pick-up and drop-off service anywhere within Westchester County.
Andrew Rivkin, Embassy Cleaners’ owner and president since 1998, said he also has customers in nearby Fairfield County, Conn., the Riverdale section of the Bronx as well as in Manhattan. residents who once lived in Westchester or have homes in both locations.
“People like the convenience of it,” Rivkin said of the pick-up and delivery service. “We don’t charge extra; it’s the same price and we visit most customers twice a week.”
In most areas, there is service three days apart – Monday and Thursday, Tuesday and Friday or Wednesday and Saturday – depending on the location, Rivkin said. A customer is texted the afternoon before reminding the resident that there is a pick-up the following day.
The bag of clothes – in an Embassy Cleaners bag that is provided to the patron – is left outside the front door or at another designated location on the property. The cleaned clothes are delivered the next time the company’s vans make that same route. For example, a Monday-Thursday customer would have their clothes returned on a Thursday if it was picked up three days earlier. If it’s set out on a Thursday, the clothes will be returned the following Monday.
“So we have regular routes,” Rivkin explained. “We absolutely show up unless you tell us not to. We’re in your area anyway.”
Rivkin said the pick-up and delivery service has become immensely popular. Embassy has an average of 800 stops a day, six days a week, he said. However, there are some communities, mainly in the far reaches of the county, where service is only once a week, he said.
Its new store at 826 Scarsdale Avenue also fuses the latest in technology with typical dry-cleaning service. Customers who bring their clothes in or retrieve them can take advantage of the around-the-clock kiosk.
A customer scans a QR code to enter the lobby, then places the bag of clothes inside a door, punches in a pin number and e-mail address and receives a ticket. When it’s ready for pickup, the customer follows the same steps but in reverse once getting inside the lobby, and the automated carousel will drop off the right garments from the other side of the door.
“It’s very simple, and the service is actually faster than seeing our staff,” said Rivkin, who also operates two Larchmont locations. “It takes an average of one minute to drop off your clothes and in two minutes you can do both, and that’s faster than if you would see one of our staff to do it.”
While the pandemic hurt many dry cleaners, Rivkin said he was able to quickly pivot to wash-and-fold service.
“So even though people weren’t going out that much and wearing dry cleanable clothes, they still were bringing clothes that had to be washed, and there were plenty of people where their kids were home, they were not going to school…and the last thing they want to do in that environment is to go into the laundry,” Rivkin said.
There are also two other components of the Embassy operation that helped buttress business– cleaning for restoration from fires and interior cleaning of draperies, carpet and curtains at mainly commercial venues such as hotels, offices and even Broadway theaters.
To learn more about Embassy Cleaners, including its pick-up and delivery service, and how to sign up, visit www.embassycleaners.com.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/