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103 dry cleaners shut in overhaul

Wednesday September 5th 2012

The owner of Johnson Cleaners brought down the shutters on 103 branches this summer in the latest blow to the declining UK high street.

Almost a quarter of its 460-strong estate was lost as the dry cleaner stripped out loss-making stores and increased its focus on areas with higher shopper footfall, such as locations close to supermarkets.

Johnson Service Group, which announced details of the restructuring in July, revealed a small loss from dry cleaning operations today but said the remaining stores were the basis for a "resilient and profitable" business.

It has been opening new sites, such as its first drive-through cleaners at a former petrol station in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

And it recently launched a pop-up branch outside a Sainsbury's supermarket in Basildon as it follows the crowds away from the high street.

Johnson has attempted to make its remaining branches more attractive by including additional services, such as "Drop and Go" laundry.

Other initiatives by the Cheshire-based group include eco-friendly Greenearth cleaning technology and products, which use a liquid silicone solvent derived from sand and breaks down easily into natural elements.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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