Survey: Coin Laundry Biz is No Fun During Summer, Many Owners Say

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — Is it fun in the sun or the dog days of summer in your store this time of year? Nearly half of the store owners who took this month’s Wire survey say that summer is worse than most seasons (36.8%) or is the worst season (10.5%) in terms of business.

Approximately 16% say that summer business is the same as other seasons, while 26.3% think it’s the best season and 10.5% think it’s better than most seasons.

Fewer than 22% of respondents run specials or promotions specifically during summer. They offer things like cash raffles, gift-card drawings, and fluff-and-fold or dry cleaning specials.

“I do a two-for-one comforter special because they are easy to do,” says one owner, “and it helps a lot of people get a job done that they normally would wait until busy winter months to do.”

More than half of respondents (52.6%) say that customer habits, such as when they do their laundry and how often, tend to change during the summer and this affects their store’s hours, attendant scheduling, etc.

With most children on summer break, that means more opportunities to tag along with Mom or Dad to the Laundromat. But 52.6% of respondents don’t think there are more child-related issues—screaming, running throughout the store, etc.—during summer than other times of the year. Roughly 42% believe there are more child-related issues in the summer, and 5.3% aren’t sure.

What’s the worst thing about running a self-service laundry during the summer? Paying higher utility bills, trying to keep their store comfortable, fielding more customer complaints, and having fewer customers were some of the more common responses to the survey question.

While the Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take the industry survey anonymously online each month. All self-service laundry owners and operators are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

To sign up for the Wire, click the “Subscriptions” button at the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the instructions.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.


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