The 66-year-old J. Wilgus Dry Cleaning company has opened a new pick-up and drop-off location at the Shops of Millville (on Route 26), and embroiderers Precision Sportswear will be sharing the Wilgus storefront.
From the “main plant” in Selbyville, Jeff Wilgus noted a growing demand for dry-cleaning services in the area. Still, he said he hadn’t needed the entire retail space for his operation, so he said he’d approached Precision Sportswear’s Andrew and Nannette Maggitti about taking the other half.
The Maggittis retired from Baltimore — he’d been a systems analyst for the State of Maryland, she’d run a deli. They moved into sports apparel in the mid-1990s, and Nannette took some training to run embroidering machinery, Maggitti recalled.
Since then, they’ve expanded their business to sell a few additional clothing-related items, like suitcases and gym bags. However, the brunt remains bargain close-outs, sports jerseys and contractors’ gear (heat-pressed logos), ball caps and embroidered polo shirts.
Maggitti said they’d done a lot of embroidery for Ocean City, Md.-area hotels and golf courses over the past eight years, including a lot of work for Wilgus.
“The two businesses are somewhat complementary,” Wilgus pointed out.
Over on the dry-cleaning side of the storefront, Wilgus noted his company’s use of health-friendly hydrocarbon solvent — DF 2000, as opposed to the more traditional “perc” (perchloroethylene) solvent.
Most drycleaners still use perc, but studies have suggested it may be a carcinogen. Wilgus has moved away from it altogether. He said the cleaning process took a little longer, because the hydrocarbon solvent wasn’t as aggressive as perc, but that was the only drawback.
The changeover jibed with his basic formula for success in business — “First, you have to know what you’re doing, and second, if you do have a problem, you fix it,” Wilgus stated.
He took over from his father, D. Eugene, in the mid-1990s. D. Eugene took it over from his father, James, in 1962 — James founded the business in 1939. It was just his grandmother and grandfather running things at that time, Wilgus recounted — the operation has expanded from Selbyville to Rehoboth Beach, Millsboro, Ocean City, Md. and now, Millville.
They do linens as well, but the Millville location is strictly dry-cleaning and shirt cleaning, Wilgus noted. Across the room, the Maggittis do have a few linens — embroidered tea towels, for instance — but their main focus is on clothing, and the close-outs especially.
They have microfiber fall jackets on sale for $20 right now — “We might not have the size you want, or the color you want in the size you want, but the prices are rock bottom,” Maggitti pointed out. He suggested someone could put together a uniform, maybe for practice, or for a bar league, for under $20. And children’s sizes cost even less — he still has some kid’s soccer jerseys on closeout, at $3 a shirt.
He said he expected to bring in some more fall gear in the coming months — more jackets, mock turtlenecks and hooded sweatshirts. “It’s kind of fun for people to stop in and see what you have from month to month,” Maggitti stated. “You never know what we’re going to have.”
For more information about Precision Sportswear in Millville, visit the Web site, www.precisionsportswear.com, or call 539-8009. For the J. Wilgus Dry Cleaning side of the store, visit www.jwilgus.com or call 537-6155.