CLA Committee Estimates Number of Retail, Self-Service Laundries at 29,000

Staff Writer |

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. — The Coin Laundry Association’s “Make Your Move” committee recently determined an “accurate estimate” of the number of retail, self-service laundries in the United States, the association reports.

The committee, named for the presentation offered at the 2012 Excellence in Laundry conference by economist Alan Beaulieu, employed several tactics to arrive at its estimate of 29,000 laundries, the CLA says. Among them was a survey of commercial laundry distributors across the country who offered estimates of local laundry population. The survey results were then interpolated with numbers from the U.S. Business Census, online directories and the CLA’s own database, among others.

The effort comes as part of the committee’s target of developing a set of “leading indicators” to “assist laundry owners in planning for the future,” the CLA says, adding that it has been difficult to reach consensus on the number of facilities in years past.

“It is important to seek out key data points which each of us may use in making vital business decisions,” says Tom Rhodes, chair of the Make Your Move committee. “We hope this is just the beginning of the committee’s work to bring the future into better focus for our members. We thank all of the distributors who contributed their estimates to this project. Without their help, we would still be guessing the number of Laundromats in the United States.”

The CLA plans to repeat this census effort every five years and report an updated estimate to the industry.


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