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Zengeler Cleaners Hosts International Business Delegation


Japanese leaders visit company to exchange best practices


Zengeler Cleaners, the Midwest’s oldest and largest dry cleaner, recently hosted a delegation of 28 industry leaders from Japan. The delegation, representing the largest and most successful dry cleaning operators in their country, was organized by Keisuke Uchikoshi, Chairman of Sankosha USA, a premier provider of equipment for the cleaning industry. The group toured Zengeler Cleaners’ northern Illinois locations to observe operations and to identify best practices used in the USA, many of which the group hopes to implement upon their return to Japan.

“Zengeler Cleaners was excited to share the processes used in our operations,” according to Tom Zengeler, President of the family-owned cleaner. “By visiting several stores in different locations, we were able to showcase how we do business in different settings. The tour prompted a series of questions about all aspects of our operations, from equipment to technology and administrative processes. In turn, our team was able to gather suggestions, recommendations and new ideas from successful operators thanks to our shared commitment to improve our industry.”

The group had an action-packed agenda during their visit. Their journey began with an overnight flight to Chicago, followed by the Zengeler Cleaners plant and store tours, a corporate presentation from Tom Zengeler highlighting the company’s recent innovations and the company’s 166-year history impact on the industry, followed by the Q &A session and a relaxing dinner. The group wrapped up their whirlwind tour by catching a Chicago White Sox game, concluding the visit with an old-fashioned Midwest barbecue, hosted by Tom Zengeler at his Wauconda home.

This visit to Zengeler Cleaners was the second by Japanese leaders in the last decade. One reason the group continues to be so interested in Zengeler’s operations is because the northern Illinois company is a leader in “green” technology. The company has been a pioneer in the use of natural solvents and is also a leader in recycling – recapturing 100% of solvents by using one of the tightest, most carefully controlled systems in the industry. The company even recycles consumable materials, providing free garment bags to reduce the use of plastic and in-store drop boxes to encourage customers to recycle hangers.

A picture of the Japanese delegation is attached below. For more information about the group’s tour of Zengeler Cleaners, please contact Tom Zengeler, President, at (847) 272-6550, ext.14, or visit zengelercleaners.com. Zengeler Cleaners locations include Northbrook, Deerfield, Long Grove, Winnetka, Northfield and two Libertyville stores, Zengeler Cleaners … America's First Family of Dry Cleaning™.

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