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Fargo-Moorhead down to three Camelot Cleaners dry cleaning shops as West Fargo Pioneer Center outlet closes

New owners say free pickup and delivery and plans to add kiosks around Fargo-Moorhead should make accessing cleaning services easy despite fewer bricks and mortar locations.

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The Camelot Cleaners outlet in West Fargo's Pioneer Center mall (still marked with Leef Cleaners signage) closed at the end of the business day Friday, June 3, 2022.
Helmut Schmidt / The Forum
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WEST FARGO — The Camelot Cleaners dry cleaning shop in the Pioneer Center has closed, the owners confirmed Friday, June 3.

Haytham al Saegh, who co-owns Camelot with Joel Fremstad, said Friday that problems finding enough employees to cover shifts at their stores forced the decision to consolidate and close the shop (which still had Leef Cleaners signage) at 1365 Prairie Parkway.

The shop's lease was also up in June, Fremstad said, and the space will be taken over by neighboring Go Promo.

No further closures are planned, al Saegh said.

Fremstad assures people that they can still easily get dry cleaning and laundry services.

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"We offer free pickup and delivery to anyone" through the Camelot website, Fremstad said. "A lot of businesses use that. ... We actually go to every location in town."

Fremstad and al Saegh closed on their purchase of Camelot Cleaners on May 7.

The three remaining bricks and mortar Camelot stores in Fargo-Moorhead are: the main cleaning plant at 1135 17th St. N. (near the North Dakota State University campus); 2100 25th St. S.; and the remaining strip mall drop-off and pick-up shop (a former Brenan's Dry Cleaning and Laundry) at 4265 45th St. S. in The Shoppes at Osgood.

Fremstad said the partners intend to create a "smart pickup" system and open kiosks around the metro area to make getting clothing cleaned easy and convenient.

Consolidation of dry cleaning businesses has been going on for years in F-M. But it was in September 2021 that it was announced that Camelot had bought the Brenan's stores, becoming the lone dry cleaning provider for the area.

Several of the stores in the expanded Camelot chain that fall still had signage for other firms - such as Sweeney Cleaners and Leef Cleaners - which had been bought out earlier by Camelot and Brenan's.

Camelot's owners at the time said the signage would be changed to reflect the new Camelot ownership. That didn't happen.

Instead, several closures followed, including outlets at 3051 25th St. S. in the First South Center (Leef's signage); 2621 S. University Drive (Sweeney Cleaners signage); 1203 1st Ave. N. (Brenan's signage); and now in the Pioneer Center.

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The Moorhead Camelot dry cleaning store closed in 2020. It was one of many dry cleaning shops to close across the U.S. as dry cleaning demand has waned and fashion shifted to more casual clothing at work. Many formal events were also canceled or downsized during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, further attenuating demand.

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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