Classic Cleaners, 11501 Geist Pavilion Dr., Fishers, did not have to move far to its new location, just a couple doors down, to accommodate an expanded Ale Emporium, but the new location has a new item that offers a glimpse into the future of dry-cleaning. It’s a nearly 7-foot tall, red rectangle that looks like the door housing a home’s circuit breakers, but looks are deceiving. It’s an automated garment retrieval kiosk, made by Italy’s Metalprogetti, that acts like a vending machine for nicely starched dress shirts.
The 24-hour, seven-day-a-week kiosk allows customers to come in whether Classic Cleaners is open or not. In off-hours the front door stays unlocked while a metal grate a-la what you find at mall stores descends from the ceiling to block off the counter and the back space. The red kiosk, however, is available for use. Customers enter their phone number and a pre-selected pin on the digital screen, and then, with a quiet whirl, the track rotates until the desired garment pops out from behind an interior door ready to be retrieved by the customer.
“It takes some time because the conveyor (belt) is so large, but it is an amazing thing to see it in action,” said Classic Cleaners General Manager, Steve Arnold, a 61 year old Fishers native who has worked with Classic Cleaners since its second store was constructed in the mid-1980’s.
The efficiency of the new system saves Classic Cleaners both in terms of space and time. While the system costs significantly more than the older chain system -around $70,000- it saves in space turning by building up. Not so much square feet but cubic feet. The system also, via computer, places each garment on a specific hook which saves time in finding a particular order and reduces the chance of grabbing the wrong item. But the time saving is not reserved for the employees, it helps the customers too.
“One of the benefits of it is that if you come into Classic Cleaners, and there’s a wait at the counter, you can just go straight to the kiosk and retrieve your clothes,” Arnold said.
The kiosk, while new to Fishers is the third added to a Classic Cleaners store.