CHICAGO — When one enters the self-service laundry industry, it’s not unusual to hear certain statements — “the industry is recession-resistant,” or “one person can run as many as four stores without needing help” — that may or may not prove to be true.
In this month’s Your Views survey, American Coin-Op polled store owners on some of the “myths” and “realities” of the self-service laundry industry.
Nearly half of respondents (45%) believe the industry is recession-resistant, calling it a reality. Thirty-eight percent see the notion as a myth, and the remaining 16.9% aren’t sure whether it’s myth or reality.
About being able to run as many as four stores without hiring a manager or attendant, the majority of respondents (46.5%) say that’s a myth. Roughly 39% see it as reality, and the remaining 14.1% aren’t sure which it is.
The magazine presented some other well-known statements to see just how many store owners see them as myth and how many see them as reality:
- “A well-kept laundry reduces your chances of being vandalized.” — Myth, 19.7%; Reality, 74.7%; Unsure, 5.6%
- “Word of mouth is the best form of laundry advertising.” — Myth, 15.7%; Reality, 77.1%; Unsure, 7.1%
- “The dollar coin will have a major impact on our industry in the next five years.” — Myth, 50.7%; Reality, 22.5%; Unsure, 26.8%
- “There will be fewer, but larger, laundries by 2020.” — Myth, 18.6%; Reality, 55.7%; Unsure, 25.7%
Lastly, the magazine asked respondents to share their favorite industry “myths” and “realities.” Here are some of the responses:
- “Reality: A Laundromat’s lease is just as important as its location in determining success.”
- “Biggest myth: A coin-op laundry is a get-rich-quick scheme.”
- “Favorite myth: The only way to do this is....”
- “Reality: A coin laundry is a hands-on business.”
- “Myth: That the card will replace the quarter.”
- “Myth: A coin laundry runs itself. Just buy the equipment and collect the money. Reality: Location … is very important when looking for a good site and really determines success or failure.”
While American Coin-Op’s Your Views survey presents a snapshot of store owners’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific. Qualified subscribers to American Coin-Op e-mails are invited to participate anonymously in the industry survey.