Summertime Blues: Survey Shows Summer Means Slow Business for Laundries

Paul Partyka |

CHICAGO — For some, summer is all about fun. If you’re a self-service laundry owner, summer may simply be the time to get hot under the collar, according to American Coin-Op’s latest monthly, unscientific Wire survey.Seventy-three percent of survey respondents report a drop in business during the summer, with 35% saying, “It’s somewhat down compared to other seasons,” and 37% saying, “It’s the worst season.” On the other hand, 13% say summer is the best season for business, and 7% say summer is better than most seasons. Another 8.7% of respondents say, “It’s the same as other seasons.”CHANGING TIMESThree-quarters of respondents see customer habits, such as the time that customers visit the store and the number of visits, change during the summer. However, 87% of respondents say this doesn’t lead to any operational adjustments, such as attendant scheduling, store hour adjustments, etc.With school out, children are more likely to visit the laundry. Fifty-four percent of survey respondents say they have more child-related issues, such as children screaming or running around, during the summer. Thirty-two percent don’t notice any more problems with children, and 14% aren’t sure if children create more problems during the summer.BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES?A good number of respondents say summer is the time when electric bills shoot up and the heat has customers complaining about a wide variety of things. One-half of respondents hear more complaints about the store temperature during the summer than any other season.Is there a way to put a positive spin on doing business during the summer? Only 20% run any type of summer specials or promotions. A creative owner might be able to boost slumping summer business with a simple promotion.If all else fails, you can always take a little vacation away from the washers and dryers. However, even though things are slow for most owners during summer, only 39% say they usually take a vacation during this time.While the American Coin-Op Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.Subscribers to American Coin-Op’s Wire e-mails — distributed weekly — are invited to participate in an industry survey each month. The survey is conducted online via a partner website. Each survey is developed so it can be completed in 10 minutes or less. Readers are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.Click here and follow the menu instructions to sign up for the free e-mail service. 

About the author

Paul Partyka

American Coin-Op

Paul Partyka was editor of American Coin-Op from 1997 through May 2011.


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