All Seasons Garment Care and Tailoring
Noteworthy: Provides high-quality dry-cleaning and tailoring services
Steve Rettler made what he terms a risky move during the pandemic, acquiring Sir Knight Cleaners. Rettler, president and owner of All Seasons Garment Care and Tailoring, did a cash transaction for the closed Sir Knight operation, adding dry-cleaning stores in Mound, Victoria, and Waconia to his company’s portfolio.
Because dry cleaners have experienced steep revenue declines during the pandemic, Rettler acknowledges there’s a “downside risk” to expanding, but he thinks the company will be better for it after Covid-19 fades and people start dressing up again.
It’s a business calculation that Rettler made 27 years after earning an economics degree from St. John’s University. Right after college, he joined his in-laws’ dry-cleaning business, and he and his wife, Aimee, bought the company from Bill and Rebecca Fish
17 years ago.
Crystal and St. Paul were the original dry-cleaning locations. Today, Rettler’s employees work in a dozen locations. Most dry-cleaning production work is done in a Crystal facility, with retail locations scattered across the metro area.
Rettler also started two businesses that complement the traditional dry-cleaning company. He founded Evermore in 2013, which focuses on cleaning and preserving bridal gowns. A second business, Twisted Thread, employs a team of tailors.
Some of the tailors work in MartinPatrick3, the upscale North Loop clothing store.
“There are a lot of synergies that are created among the three brands, which really helps us because we are diverse enough that we are not completely relying on one stream of business,” Rettler says.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” Rettler says, adding that he hopes to obtain a second PPP loan. “Our sales are down 50 percent or more, but our fixed costs haven’t changed. We still have rents, insurance, and our payroll hasn’t dropped 50 percent.”
While his company is “bleeding cash” right now, Rettler says he’s doing everything possible to control costs and serve longtime customers.
Rettler acted decisively to ensure his company would survive the pandemic. among his key survival strategies:
Cut staff and reduce store hours. While many businesses tried to hold on to “normal” as long as possible, Rettler moved quickly to avoid digging a bigger financial hole caused by a huge drop in customers.
Stabilize finances. When in crisis, accept any help available. Rettler secured a PPP loan.
Ramp up digital communications. Rettler wanted to make sure customers knew his stores were still open. He also enhanced his revenue base by publicizing that All Seasons does specialty cleaning, including rugs and furniture cushions.
2021 goals: Adapt the business model to align with reduced customer demand so the company emerges in a strong position post-pandemic.