Nu Yale Cleaners adapting to 21st century

| November 3, 2011
Nu Yale Cleaners President and CEO Gary Maloney and his son, Brandon Maloney, with a bust of company founder Wilbur Horlander.

Nu Yale Cleaners President and CEO Gary Maloney and his son, Brandon Maloney, with a bust of company founder Wilbur Horlander.

Every spring, needy high school girls are thrilled to receive prom dresses collected by Nu Yale Cleaners in partnership with the Junior League of Louisville. But this fall, the family-owned, family-operated business is collecting clothes to keep youngsters from getting chilled.

“We’re doing a Coats for Kids drive, working with Insight Media, Clear Channel Radio, Rotary clubs, and Louisville Public Media,” said Brandon Maloney, Nu Yale’s marketing manager. “Until Thanksgiving, we’re collecting new and gently used winter items – coats, hats, gloves – at our stores and other places. After cleaning them, we’ll deliver them to Wayside Christian Mission, Goodwill BridgePointe Services and Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana. We’re glad to have this opportunity to help our community.”

In 1956, businessman Wilbur Horlander started the company through a wise purchase.

“Wilbur, my uncle, bought a dry cleaning business called Yale,” said President and CEO Gary Maloney, who, with brothers Bill and Michael, owns the company. “As new technology replaced the old wringer washers, he changed the name to ‘Nu Yale’ to reflect the improvements he was making.”

Nu Yale CleanersWith a database of 30,000 customers, four free home-delivery routes, and 11 stores, Nu Yale has come a long way since Gary Maloney joined the family business. That was in the early 1970s, when its specialty was stone-washing blue jeans for manufacturers such as Calvin Klein and Wrangler.

Today, Nu Yale processes about 7,000 garments daily at its Jeffersonville plant.  Employees handle challenges that range from rips and alterations to smoke and flood damage. The company has freshened the clothes of four “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” families in this area. Its reputation is such that top brands including Guess and Ann Taylor send Nu Yale any items that need reworking after they arrive from overseas manufacturers.

Keeping track of so many articles of clothing is made possible by bar code scanning and GPS, which enable the company to know not only which workers are involved every step of the way, but also when to notify customers (by phone, email or app) that items are ready, and what the price will be.

“We’ve taken the technology to a different level than the typical cleaner,” Maloney said. “We’re the only company in this area with the Glacier system, which cleans with liquid C02 instead of hazardous chemicals. Glacier is a shorter, gentler process that doesn’t use heat or knock fibers loose – that’s mostly what lint is. Colors stay brighter and there’s no bad odor, so clothes don’t need to be aired out before wearing.”

Nu Yale CleanersNu Yale’s expertise and use of “green” technology have won kudos from organizations and agencies, including GLI’s 2010 Inc.credible Award for Greening/Sustainability, the 2009 Best of America’s Best Cleaners award, and the 2009 Indiana Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention.

“We’re a one-stop shop,” said Brandon Maloney, who, as Gary Maloney’s son, represents the third generation in this family company. “We process wedding gowns in-house, instead of sending them to third parties. Other cleaners send us items they can’t clean. We do pretty much anything a garment needs, and we’re always looking for ways to do it even better.”

For locations and other information about Nu Yale Cleaners, visit or call 812.285.7400.

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