Extreme cost increases: difficult times also for Professional Textile Care

The Covid period was difficult for many markets/sectors, Professional Textile Care (PTC) included. Especially retail, hospitality and to a less extend also healthcare segments were severely hit by strong disruptions in the economies. Worldwide the general picture was more or less the same. Only very few countries were able to adopt policies who made a quick and soon recovery possible.After the last two years of great difficulty, societies were anxious to start things up again and to get rid of the many measures taken to prevent the Covid virus variants to spread. Luckily, many professional companies took this difficult period also as a good moment to develop new idears, new services, new technologies, new business models, etc to make a brand new start. However, when starting since mid 2021 another problem arose. Extreme increases of operational cost for chemicals, energy, transport, new textiles, labour, etc. in a very short time. Especially, in laundries and textile cleaners delivering to retail and hospitality markets (which markets also suffered  from a dramatic 70% lack of market demand) the operational cost were increasing as never before. Leaving the PTC companies, who already suffered hard by Covid, with an allmost impossible challenge. Up till now governmental supporting measures were in many cases reasonably effective. But these measures are stopped meanwhile or will be stopped in the near future. Additionally inflation and interest rates are expected to rise again considerably. The perspective is all of a sudden not so promising anymore. New creative business solutions and services are needed more than ever.Over 20% cost increases reportedIn several European countries PTC trade associations have made strong appeals to the governments and stakeholders to find a solution for this unprecedented situation. Especially, in case contracts of sometimes 5 – 7 years were agreed upon, the current situation is simply impossible. Cost price increases were reported of over 20% in some countries. Meaning that all services are resulting in big impacts on the Profit & Loss account of the laundries and textile cleaners. In the UK a strong plead was taken by the TSA textile service association towards the UK Government, FTN started earlier this year in the Netherlands a similar approach and also in other countries initiatives were taken to find solutions for this impossible situation. It will be quite a challence for the PTC business to deal with these changes. However, some will say: nothing new…