Why do they staple the tags onto the clothes, or even the labels? Even the cleaners here in South Korea, who by no means process high-end luxury clothes, are smart enough to loop the paper around the tag and staple the loop shut, paper-on-paper, causing no injury to the clothes or the labels themselves.
Maybe the dry cleaners in Itaewon (a neighbourhood where many foreigners live, for those who haven't visited Seoul yet) don't process much high-quality luxury clothes, but I find that Koreans in general do wear rather nice clothes with nice fabrics. I'd say that what they wear is on average more high-end and of better quality than what the average North American wears. Comparing the clothes in dept. stores in Seoul to those in Montreal/Toronto, I'd say that there is considerably more high-end and expensive clothes being sold here than in Canada. I was amazed at one of the Hyundai dept. stores at the shear number of 500$ designer scarves being stored there (I didn't buy any, but zipped through them just the same). And there's tens and tens of similar dept. stores scattered around Seoul, its suburbs and in every major metropolitan area on the peninsula. Not that I'm trying to make Korea seem better than it is, but I think this is a country which is overall rather underrated. I find that one misconception that many have about South Korea is that Koreans make a low income, and that Korea is somewhat of a developing country way behind the west. But I find that this is just a negative image we have about this country, and that the reality is otherwise. The GDP per capita in South Korea is about the same as the one in Spain, or about 15-20% less than in France, Germany, Britain, and Italy. And the cost of living is about the same as in those countries. Probably even a bit less for certain things. What confuses many is the apparent lower income made by Koreans compared to the other rich nations. For instance, a university professor in Seoul makes about 50,000$US annual salary. In the US and Canada, a university professor makes around 90,000$US and 70,000$US respectively. But, after the income tax and the health insurance have been deduced, a university professor actually makes on average more money in Korea than in Canada with just as many social benefits. For instance, for a salary of 50,000$US a year, the personal income tax would amount to only 4000-5000$. For other professions, the trend seems to be similar as well. There are exceptions however: I heard the Hyundai factory workers in Ulsan make as much as the GM factory workers in the US (after the income tax deductions, I heard they make even more), and that korean construction workers make in between 20,000$US to 35,000$US per year, which is a bit lower than in the west. Anyway, why am I saying all of this? Ah.. The dry cleaning. So in short, yes, I would expect korean dry cleaners to a be a bit better than in North America, as people on average seem to put more emphasis and more money on their wardrobe down here.. Bern