In the Public Eye - Fishmans Case Study

Fishman’s Personal Care Cleaners


The Fishman’s Family-owned and operated laundry service business began in 1945. Grandparents, Lily and Jack Fishman, started Economy Cleaners in its original location in Inglewood and with Jack’s tailoring expertise and Lily’s business acumen they founded a business that has grown and prospered over time.
Bennie Fishman, one of their three children, inherited the business and began providing dry-cleaning service to inner-city business professionals, busy households and families known for entertaining. In a similar fashion, Benny’s son, Sheldon, joined the business. With Sheldon’s aptitude for process-oriented business operations he evolved it to a become the first fully chemical-free cleaning service and saw the business expand from one to ten physical locations throughout the city.
The Fishman’s Personal Care Cleaners business has, since its inception, employed professional tailors, as a competitive advantage to offer garment repairs, button replacement and other alterations to fix garments as well as professionally clean them. As an environmentally-conscious business leader, Sheldon shifted the cleaning from dry to environmentally friendly “wet” cleaning and laundry service.

When my world was made easier because of Fishman’s service

Having been a client for many years, I remember the day I came into the shop on 17th Avenue to once again rush in to pick up our family’s recently cleaned clothes.
When the friendly young lady behind the counter said to me: “if you like, we could deliver these to your home or office and pick up your cleaning in a personalized garment bag for you.  We offer this as a complimentary service for our regular customers.”

I was not sure I had heard her correctly.

“I beg your pardon, did I understand Fishman’s is able to come to my home, pick up our special care garments, that you will clean these and then delivery it all back to my doorstep – free of any additional charge?”

Until that moment, I had not actually noticed their fleet of branded vans which – for years – has been providing this service for uniforms, suits, shirts, dresses, blouses, and linens throughout the city.

“Yes,” she said.  “Free pick up and deliver and we offer this twice a week.  For where you live that would mean we could be at your home Tuesdays and Fridays.  Would that be of interest?”


I instantly signed up.  From that day forward I have been so grateful to have this door-to-door service.

Creating a meaningful Public Relations Initiative – With Sheldon Fishman at the helm of the business, modern machinery and equipment had been purchased with a focus on constant improvement to streamline the otherwise labour intensive processes.  New washers, dryers, pressing as well as wrap and hanging equipment had been recent investments to meet the volume of garment cleaning required with increased efficiency.

Realizing the company did not have a current baseline understanding on how clients’ perceived the quality of service and performance, we proposed a short and informative client survey – with a small financial incentive to reduce the cost of the client’s garment cleaning, which resulted in an uptake from clients of nearly 35% and when compared to most surveys garnering 3% we had an impressive amount of market intelligence to offer the management team.

Even more important was the fact that nearly 84% of those who responded gave Fishman’s an XCELLENT rating.

The goals of the survey were to gain insight on the baseline level of satisfaction, understand what client needs were currently not being met and to secure additional loyalty and appreciation for the clientele which had been built up over recent decades.

What we learned through this online survey was that a resounding 40% of respondents would appreciate having their boots and shoes picked up, polished, or repaired and delivered back to their homes.  This market intelligence gave the management team an idea on what they could add to the convenience of their pick-up and delivery service.

Mr. Fishman immediately acquired a professional shoeshine purveyor known for their attention to detail from downtown Calgary and added this service to meet the market’s newly discovered need offering shoe shine and repair services for all of their walk-in as well as home or office delivery clients.   This service quantifiably added double-digit revenues to the company’s bottom line and this service and convenience continues today.

To fulfill the desire for enhanced loyalty with our Public Relations initiative, we had Fishman’s branded cards of appreciation printed with a sincere message of gratitude. These were mailed to each of the clients who responded to the survey to provide valued clients with a tangible card that was signed in blue ink by Mr. Sheldon Fishman himself.

The overall impact of the Public Relations initiative fulfilled all of the goals and objectives with the added value of evidenced excitement from several clients who were writing comments of appreciation and who were called directly alongside those who had any kind of complaint to have the issues addressed immediately, fostering greater respect for the company.  The results of this initiative made the lives of Fishman’s Personal Care Cleaners easier with the added shoe shine and repair service, added a revenue stream to the business and strengthened ties between Fishman’s and their most engaged clients.