Dry Cleaning, Repairs and Reforming

"In the late 1940s FJs was receiving complaints that their garments were shrinking with some dry cleaners and so we decided to set up our own dry-cleaning factory in Warrnambool where we carried out dry cleaning, repairs and alterations on customers garments.  At first garments were sent to Warrnambool to be dry cleaned from all stores around Australia.  The freight proved quite expensive as they were sent by air to Melbourne and then on our truck to Warrnambool, which would run daily.  We then decided to open our own dry cleaning factories in Brunswick, Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide and Brisbane as well as Warrnambool.  These factories also carried out new garment alterations for the retail stores.  

When garments were returned for dry cleaning, they were inspected for any manufacturing faults such as seams breaking away, buttons missing, fabric or zipper problems.  Any faults discovered would be passed onto the manufacturing department to be investigated so action could be taken to correct the problems for future garments.  It was later decided to start our own testing laboratory as it was better to test fabric and other components before garments were manufactured.  This was a much better idea - the old method was like shutting the gate after the horse bolted!  

When we were setting up a dry cleaning plant in Adelaide at Hinley Street - as part of the layout I set the dry cleaning counter up just inside the front door.  The reason being the customers would drop their garments in for dry cleaning on their way to work rather than walk to the back of the shop - very convenient I thought.  FJ called me and said he would like to have a talk with me.  I thought here is trouble!  He said "why do you place the dry cleaning counter just inside the front door?"  I told him that I thought it most convenient for customers.  "Lawson" he said " I would like you to move the counter to the back of the shop so the customers walk past the merchandise on the racks" .. and being the boss he won and I moved the counter!

Lawson Ryan worked for 39.5 years for Fletcher Jones Dry Cleaning Department

DryCleaning and Aftersales 1953.  Photo Jones Family Collection
Dry Cleaning and Aftersales exterior, Pleasant Hill 1953.  Photo: Ralph Illidge
Staff in Dry Cleaning and Aftersales 1953. L-R Edith, Mavis, Cathy, Alec Barber, Geoff, Lawson Ryan and Dulcie Cocking.  Photo Jones Family Collection
The Dry Cleaning and Aftersales staff at Pleasant Hill  in 1956.  Photo: Jones Family Collection
Lawson Ryan, Aftersales Manager and Kathy Richardson. Photo: Jones Family Collection
The Dry-cleaning, Reforming and Repair Service charges pre-decimal currency rates.  There's a story of the man who left 20 pounds in his trouser pocket by accident and it was sent back immediately too. That'll win lifelong loyalty from your customers!
"Always be sure to impress on your client that we are interested in his 'Plus 8s' throughout their entire long life."  From FJ Staff booklet loaned by Lawson Ryan.

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