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Counting Down Our Top Stories from 2023 (Conclusion)

These are the year’s most-read articles on

CHICAGO — 2024 is but a few days away, and this time offers a natural opportunity to reflect on 2023 and the top 10 stories (based on page views) posted here on during the year.

(In instances where the Top 10 story was part of a larger series, we have provided additional links so you can easily read the entire article.)

Here is the second half of our Top 10 list for 2023, starting with No. 5:

5. NJ Dept. of Labor Finds Violations in Laundromats Probe

A strategic enforcement initiative that targeted New Jersey’s retail laundromats uncovered a variety of wage and hour violations among a small sampling of businesses, the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced in April.

Wage and Hour Division investigators visited 20 retail laundromat locations owned by nine employers. Only one location was free of violations, and investigators determined that more than $56,000 in wages were owed to the primarily low-wage employees.

The laundromats were cited for failing to pay employees the state minimum wage, failing to pay overtime wages, illegally misclassifying employees as independent contractors, and failing to comply with the state’s earned sick leave law. In addition to back wages, $143,000 in penalties and fees were assessed to employers.

4. Next Clean Show Slated for August 2025

The Clean Show, North America’s largest laundry, drycleaning and textile care exposition, selected dates in August 2025 for its next edition, show manager Messe Frankfurt announced in March. Orlando, Florida’s Orange County Convention Center will host the four-day event.

Clean 2022, staged in Atlanta after a year-long postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, drew nearly 10,000 professionals from North America and beyond.

3. Julia Milch Named Laundrylux President

In March, New York-based equipment distributor Laundrylux announced that Julia Milch had assumed the responsibilities of company president “as the next step in our senior management development process,” according to CEO John Sabino.

Milch was to initially have focused on technology, marketing, and supporting the Laundrylux Distribution management team before taking on added responsibilities over time.

Cody Milch, who had served as company president since early 2018, took an operational role at the Milch Family Office, focusing on capital allocation and real estate investment and development.

Julia Milch said she looked forward to working closely with Sabino, her brother Cody, and their father, Neal Milch, whose strategic vision guides Laundrylux as executive chairman of its Board of Directors.

2. Is It Time to Add Another Store? Part 1Part 2Part 3Conclusion

If thinking about pursuing multi-store ownership, it makes a lot of sense to do so armed with the knowledge of any successes or failures from the first go-around. In that light, American Coin-Op began the year by interviewing some self-service laundry owners from Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina about their multi-store experiences.

It’s a transition going from a single store to two or more, and that shift sometimes brings added weight or importance to certain aspects of ownership. “It doubles the workload to some degree,” says Lori Wagner, who owns and operates a pair of unattended stores in Kentucky with husband Erich, “but the basic operational structure was already there.”

The logistics of overseeing multiple sites that can be miles apart sometimes presents challenges that can take a while to get a handle on. While each store added is its own animal, so to speak, creating a unified style or system can make operating and managing the group as a whole easier.

1. 2022-23 State of the Industry Survey, Part 1Part 2Part 3Conclusion

After COVID-19 ravaged 2020’s self-service laundry profits, the industry rebounded in 2021. Based on results from 2023’s American Coin-Op annual State of the Industry survey, many self-service laundry owners and operators were still working their way back at the time.

But despite any challenges left by the pandemic and more recently by inflation and higher costs, nearly three out of four owners polled said their total business improved in 2022.

The 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 2022-23 business conditions, vend pricing, equipment, turns per day and utilities cost.

For 2022, nearly three-quarters of respondents say their overall self-service vended laundry business in gross dollar volume increased from that of 2021. The average increase was 13.2%.

Nearly 51% of respondents purchased at least one piece of equipment (washer, dryer, water heater, vending machine, or other) in 2022, and roughly 45% had added or were planning to add some type of equipment during this year.

Counting Down Our Top Stories from 2023

(Photo: © artursz/Depositphotos)

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