Customers furious as dry cleaner announces abrupt closing

July 9, 2013 4:32:42 PM PDT
It was a hot, panicky afternoon at the Fashion Expert Dry Cleaners in Wynnefield Heights in Philadelphia.

But by the end of the business day, there was some good news for customers.

Although the dry cleaning business is still closing, customers will have another chance to retrieve their clothes.

Eddie Lee of Fashion Expert Dry Cleaners admits he's been behind on the rent he owes A&P, the owners of Pathmark and the Wynnefield Heights strip mall where his dry cleaning business is located.

Lee wouldn't tell Action News when he knew he'd be evicted. But customers had no idea until A&P changed the locks on July 2nd.

Lee was locked out. His customer database and all his customers' clothes were locked in.

A sign went up in the window telling those customers they'd have only a two-hour window Tuesday to claim any items left at the cleaners.

Throughout the day, customers lined up on the hot sidewalk, clutching their receipts and trying to claim their clothes.

Civil Affairs officers arrived to make sure the line stayed orderly. Only one customer at a time was allowed in. Many spent more than an hour-and-a-half waiting.

As the line stretched across the shopping center, it was clear two hours wouldn't be long enough.

Customers seemed more angry at A&P than Lee for the sudden closure and how it was being handled.

Just before 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, A&P relented, saying they would allow Lee to open next week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

They are also allowing him access to his customer data, so he can call and tell them to come get their clothes.

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