2015-16 State of the Self-Service Laundry Industry (Part 3)

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(Photo: © iStockphoto/blackred)

Bruce Beggs |

58.1% of survey respondents purchased at least one piece of equipment in 2015

CHICAGO — Do you believe your self-service laundry business measured up favorably to others in the industry last year? Did you have a good year or a bad year in 2015? How does your pricing compare with others?

American Coin-Op’s annual State of the Industry survey offers store owners and operators the opportunity to compare their operation to others in the industry.

This year’s survey focused on 2015-2016 business conditions, pricing, equipment, common challenges, turns per day and utilities cost.

In instances where respondents were asked about 2015 business results, they were given the opportunity to state whether their results were up, down or unchanged. This is a departure from surveys compiled in 2011 and earlier, when respondents were asked only if their business was up or down. Keep this in mind as you’re making comparisons to previous years’ results.

This survey is an unscientific electronic poll of American Coin-Op subscribers who operate stores. Some percentages may not equal 100% due to rounding or other factors.

COIN OR CARD?

Roughly 67% of respondents operate coin-only stores, 7.0% operate card-only stores, and 25.6% offer both, according to the survey results.

The breakdown of payment types in 2015 remained constant when compared to the previous year’s survey: in 2014, approximately 66% of respondents operated coin-only stores, 7.9% operated card-only stores, and 26.3% offered both.

PURCHASED IN 2015

Roughly 58% of respondents purchased at least one piece of equipment (washer, dryer, water heater, vending machine or other) in 2015, up from last year’s 50%.

Following is a breakdown of 2015 purchases. (Editor’s note: Percentages do not total 100% because some buyers purchased equipment in multiple equipment categories.):

  • 20.9% of respondents purchased at least one top loader. The average purchase was 6.0 machines.
  • 37.2% of respondents purchased at least one front loader. The average purchase was 8.9 machines.
  • 25.6% of respondents purchased at least one dryer (regular or stack). The average purchase was 9.1 machines.
  • Equal shares of 9.3% of respondents purchased some type of water heater, vending machine or “other” types of equipment, like bill changers or security systems.

2016 SHOPPING LIST

Operators were asked if they purchased, or plan to purchase, new equipment this year.

Roughly 51% of respondents plan to add some type of equipment (washer, dryer, water heater, vending machine or other) to their mix, or have already done so, in 2016. By comparison, in last year’s survey, approximately 29% had added equipment in 2015 or planned to do so.

Following is a breakdown of purchases operators have already made in 2016, or plan to make by the end of the year. (Editor’s note: Percentages do not total 100% because some buyers purchased/plan to purchase equipment in multiple equipment categories.):

  • 2.3% of respondents have purchased, or plan to purchase, a new top loader this year. The average purchase is (or will be) 6.0 machines.
  • 30.2% of respondents have purchased, or plan to purchase, a new front loader this year. The average purchase is (or will be) 9.8 machines.
  • 18.6% of respondents have purchased, or plan to purchase, a new dryer this year. The average purchase is (or will be) 7.5 machines.

Check back Wednesday for the conclusion: trends in attended/unattended stores, utilities cost, 2016 operators forecast and more!

Missed earlier parts of this story? You can read them here: Part 1Part 2

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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