Costco tests ‘green’ dry cleaning in 2 O.C. locations »
Two Orange County Costco warehouse stores are offering dry cleaning services of a local environmental friendly company on a trial basis.
The Costco stores in Fountain Valley and Tustin are offering $50 worth of cleaning from Green Spot Cleaners in Fountain Valley for $34.99 through what the Big Box retailer calls its “tickets” program.
Costco stores in Fountain Valley and Tustin are offering $50 worth of Green Spot Cleaners services for $34.99 to members. The cleaner approached the Big Box retailer about offering its services through the “ticket” program. Shown in a display of Green Spot tickets for sale at Costco.
Through this program, Costco members can buy movie tickets, spa services, entry to Southern California entertainment parks and other items that can’t be put in a can or package on the shelves the way green beans and vitamins can.
Here’s the surprise: Green Spot isn’t some major dry cleaning company. It has one location at 18449 Brookhurst St. in Fountain Valley and is owned by two brothers and their brother-in-law.
Chris Guldjian is a lawyer, his brother Harry Guldjian runs three Orange County tailoring shops, Lucy’s, named for their mother, and brother-in-law Garo Panosyan has been in the cleaning business for 20 years.
Nationwide, Costco tests 400 to 600 products and services through its ticket program annually, the company said. The retailer doesn’t care how big or small the offering company is as long as the deal seems good for its customers.
Costco can usually tell within three weeks whether a test is successful, the company says. Costco customers visit the store every eight days, on average, so they see a test product twice during that three weeks.
“I can’t tell you how hard it was to get them to accept us,” says Chris Guldjian. “The Costco vice president called me the most persistent vendor they had. I said, ‘just give me a couple of months on the floor.'”
Costco representatives inspected the store in person. They verified that Green Spot wasn’t going to charge outrageous prices so that the $34.99 Costco price didn’t buy as much as going to a regular cleaner.
Green Spot Cleaners is licensed to use the liquid silicone products and patented processes of Missouri-based Green Earth Cleaners, Chris says.
There are other cleaners in Southern California that have Green Earth licenses, he says. There are also “green cleaners’ that use hydrocarbon products to clean fabric.
The Guldjian brothers came to the United States with their Armenian parents from Syria in 1981. The family had little money, so Mrs. Guldjian opened a small tailor shop at Main and Sixth streets in Huntington Beach.
While Chris got a law degree, Harry got a business degree and opened more tailor shops.
“Our whole approach to dry cleaning is to have 100% nontoxic environment,” Chris says. “Garo has worked in Newport Beach and has brought Newport Beach quality to an area that doesn’t have as many green cleaners but at Fountain Valley prices.”