CHICAGO — As the summer months start to heat up, the majority of Laundromat owners and operators (32.3%) polled in this month’s American Coin-Op Your Views survey revealed that summer business is “the same as other seasons.”
Only 9.7% say summer is the “best season” in terms of business, while 12.9% say “it’s better than most seasons.” For 29% of respondents, summer business is “worse than most seasons,” while 16.1% say it is “the worst season.”
Owners were also asked about customer habits changing in the summer. Approximately 52% say they see changes that affect operational aspects such as store hours and attendant scheduling. Nearly 42% of respondents say customer habits do not change during the summer, while 6.5% are not sure.
One store owner says they see “slow business due to traveling,” while another says there are “more vagrants due to the longer daylight hours and better weather.”
Almost 42% of store owners say they receive customer complaints about store temperature throughout the summer season, while 58.1% say they do not.
Several owners remarked that they spend more on electricity and air conditioning during the summer, with one saying “utility costs are higher (especially electric).”
Another explains that “keeping [the store] cool” is his/her biggest problem, while another store owner says he/she spends “more [on] utility cost due to hot weather.”
Operators say scheduling becomes a challenge during the summer.
“Covering employee time off” is a stressor for one respondent, while another says, “[The] timing is off—people do not run schedules when kids [are] out of school.”
One owner takes advantage of school being out, running a free-soap special for students during the summer months. But summer specials or promotions are not the norm for many Laundromat owners and operators—only 9.4% of respondents report running such specials.
Respondents are evenly split when it comes to encountering children screaming/running throughout the store, and other related issues during the summer, with 48.4% saying there are more child-related issues to deal with during the summer, while another 48.4% say otherwise. The remaining 3.2% are “not sure.”
One owner says he/she does not put up with kids’ shenanigans, saying, “We are strict that kids do not run around, yell or scream in the store.”
American Coin-Op’s Your Views survey presents an unscientific snapshot of the audience’s viewpoints at a particular moment; due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.
Subscribers to American Coin-Op e-mails are invited to participate anonymously in an industry survey each month. The entire American Coin-Op audience is encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define owner/operator opinions and industry trends.