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50 Years of Clean Living

Nothing is impossible and opportunity always abounds in Hong Kong, as Hang Lung-Hakuyosha’s growth story tells us

Hang Lung-Hakuyosha’s 50 years of business in Hong Kong is a culmination of perseverance, reputation and faith. The Hong Kong-Japanese 50/50 joint venture was set up by the second generation of Igarashi Takeo, Japan’s Hakuyosha Group, and Chan Tseng-Hsi, founder of Hong Kong’s Hang Lung Group. When the founders first met during a religious occasion 50 years ago, they had never thought of developing as one of Hong Kong’s largest dry cleaning service providers.

50 Years of Clean Living

“When we first started our business, we encountered many difficulties. Dry cleaning services were not popular and were considered unaffordable by many,” Kenji Yokomizo, Director & General Manager, Hang Lung-Hakuyosha (HK) Ltd, said. During the company’s early stage, it was Hang Lung’s initial support that enabled the Hang Lung Hakuyosha shops to be opened in its properties. The strategy to open shops in MTR stations also had a great impact on brand-building and the number of shops has grown to 32 at present.

Positive Changes

Hang Lung Hakuyosha saw a wave of migration of Hong Kong residents overseas due to the 1997 issue, which deterred Hang Lung-Hakuyosha from carrying on. It started to enlarge pick-up and delivery services that no other operators had previously offered, and also storage services for winter clothing to blankets and quilts. Hang Lung Hakuyosha is now a leading dry cleaner in Hong Kong, with 80 percent of revenue coming from consumers and 20 percent from corporate clients. Many large corporations in Hong Kong, especially airlines and banks, are using its service for cleaning staff uniforms.

“We enjoy the ease of doing business and high level of economic freedom in Hong Kong. It is a place with ample business opportunities,” Yokomizo said. “As dry cleaning is still not very mature in the Hong Kong market, we see room for further development especially in regulatory measures.”

To celebrate 50 years of operation in Hong Kong, Yokomizo said the company will be renovating the factory in Hunghom to create an optimised working environment for higher productivity. A computerised point-of-sale system will be installed at its shops to replace manual work and simplify the sales process. The “Grand Fabric Care” service with value-added clothing repairs and fixes will also be introduced. “In our daily operations, we always stick to our Japanese service standards. From time-to-time, Japan headquarters will send quality controllers to Hong Kong to conduct examinations,” Yokomizo said.

As Hong Kong people’s passion for such winter sports as skiing and snowboarding grows, Yokomizo said the company is offering cleaning and storage services for winter sports clothing. “We have started to work with travel agents and airlines to target this niche market,” he said.

“Our long term goal is to become Hong Kong’s number one dry cleaning brand. We aim to increase laundry volume and our competitiveness by focusing on delivery services. We’ll expand our fleet size and continue to improve customer and employee satisfaction,” he enthused.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

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Fast Facts

  • Established in Hong Kong in June 1965
  • A 50/50 dry cleaning joint venture between Japan and Hong Kong shareholders
  • Employs 170 staff

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