|Parliament Cleaners, at 7412 Little River Turnpike.|
One of the oldest continuously operating businesses in Annandale, Parliament Cleaners in the Little River Shopping Center, has a new owner.
Joseph Lee purchased the business from Connie Burnley, who has owned and operated the shop for 48 years.
Lee is working on fixing the machines and renovating the interior of the shop. He has already removed the fake fireplace.
The biggest change planned by Lee, however, is much lower prices for dry cleaning. He hasn’t finalized the prices, but, instead of the $7.50 Parliament used to charge for pants, he is planning to charge $3. Suits will be $6 or $7 instead of $15.
He acknowledges dry cleaning is a tough business, as washable, casual clothing has gotten more popular while fewer people wear suits to work every day. He says there used to be 13 cleaners in Annandale, and now there are only four.
“People still need dry cleaning,” says Lee, who says the key to success is bringing the cost down.
Lee has been in the dry cleaning business for 32 years and owned cleaners in Fair City Mall and Landmark Plaza but shut them down because the rents were too high.
Parliament offers laundry service, alternations, and rug cleaning, as well as dry cleaning.
Burnley decided to retire to take care of her ailing husband, Michael Goetzinger. He died in November. Lee says she plans to come back and work at the shop on a limited basis after she settles her husband’s affairs but “will not work 12 hours a day like she used to.”
Parliament opened in 1968, and the Burnleys purchased it in 1972. It’s not the oldest business in Annandale, however. That honor goes to Sal’s Shoe Repair, which opened on Little River Turnpike in 1954.
Related story: Sal’s has been fixing shoes in Annandale since 1954