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2023-24 State of the Industry Survey (Part 2)

Drop-off pricing range: 90 cents to $4.63 per pound

CHICAGO — Further removed from the COVID-19 pandemic and having watched inflation fall over the last two years, many self-service laundry owners and operators had a strong year in 2023.

The American Coin-Op State of the Industry Survey report provides many statistics valuable to store owners and investors who wish to compare their operations to the industry average. This year’s survey focused on 2023-24 business conditions, vend pricing, equipment, turns per day and utilities cost.

When asked about their 2023 business results, respondents were given the opportunity to state whether their results were up, down or unchanged. (Surveys conducted prior to 2012 asked only if business was up or down, so keep this in mind if you’re making comparisons to results from that period.)

The annual survey is an unscientific, online poll of American Coin-Op readers who operate stores. Some percentages may not equal 100% due to rounding or other factors.

Part 1 examined the characteristics of the self-service laundry audience—store numbers/types, labor, payment types accepted—and so on. Let’s continue today by looking at wash-dry-fold, commercial laundry, and vending sales performance:


About 46% of operators surveyed reported their wash-dry-fold (WDF) service business, in gross dollar volume for both drop-off and pickup and delivery, increased for them in 2023. This compares to 53% in 2022, 62% in 2021, 34% in 2020, 54% in 2019, 58% in 2018, and 68% in 2017.

Last year’s average business increase was 16.5%, compared to 13.4% in 2022, 30.4% in 2021, 14.2% in 2020, 21.0% in 2019, 29.8% in 2018, and 26.1% in 2017.

Roughly 11% of respondents saw a decrease in 2023 wash-dry-fold business, which is much higher than the 2.6% reported for 2022. In previous years, the shares of laundry owners with declining drop-off WDF business were 2.6% in 2021, 51% in 2020, 12% in 2019, 10% in 2018, and 16% in 2017.

Approximately 44% of respondents say their 2023 WDF business was unchanged from the previous year. That compares to 45% for 2022, 36% for 2021, 20% for 2020, 34% for 2019, 32% for 2018, and 16% for 2017.

Current drop-off pricing (in dollars per pound) ranges from 90 cents to $4.63, based on the survey responses.

Following is a breakdown of the most popular drop-off service prices being charged per pound, followed by the percentage of operators who charge them:

  1. $1.50 (17.9%)
  2. $2.00 (15.4%)
  3. $1.25 (9.0%)

Overall, prices for WDF service remain fairly consistent with previous years’ surveys. In total, 24 different WDF prices were reported in this year’s poll.

Roughly 61% of operators who took the annual survey offer drop-off service, down from the 65% from last year’s survey.


Among laundry owners who offer commercial laundry services (the share was 47.4% in this survey), 30.8% reported that business (in gross dollar volume) increased for them in 2023. The average increase was 18.8%.

Roughly 9% of respondents reported a decline in their commercial laundry business last year; the average was 12.0%.

Sixty percent of respondents say their 2023 commercial business was unchanged from that of the prior year.


The share of respondents reporting their vending sales rose in 2023 was 33.3%, compared to 39.1% the previous year. The average vending sales increase last year was 13.7%.

Roughly 7% reported declines in vending sales in 2023, compared to 13% for 2022. The average decrease in 2023 was 11.3%.

Operators reporting no change for 2023 accounted for 59.8%, compared to 47.8% in the prior year’s survey.

In Part 3 coming Tuesday: Wash and dry vend pricing, and turns per day

2023-24 State of the Industry Survey

(Photo: © creatista/Depositphotos)

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].