T HE C LEAN C LOTHES C ORNER L AUNDRY
When Molly Lai purchased the Clean Clothes Corner Laundry, she thought that because it was in a good location near several high-income neighborhoods, she would automatically generate good business if she improved the laundry's physical appearance. Thus, she initially invested a lot of her cash reserves in remodeling the exterior and interior of the laundry. However, she just about broke even in the year following her acquisition of the laundry, which she didn't feel was a sufficient return, given how hard she had worked. Molly didn't realize that the dry-cleaning business is very competitive and that success is based more on price and quality service, including quickness of service, than on the laundry's appearance.
In order to improve her service, Molly is considering purchasing new dry-cleaning equipment, including a pressing machine that could substantially increase the speed at which she can dry-clean clothes and improve their appearance. The new machinery costs $16,200 installed and can clean 40 clothes items per hour (or 320 items per day). Molly estimates her variable costs to be $0.25 per item dry-cleaned, which will not change if she purchases the new equipment. Her current fixed costs are $1,700 per month. She charges customers $1.10 per clothing item.