CHICAGO — Nearly half (48.9%) of coin laundry owners are planning to spruce up their stores in 2016, according to results from this month’s American Coin-Op Your Views survey.
Further, store owners who responded to the unscientific poll say they plan to add new washers and/or dryers (38.3%), increase prices (36.2%) and/or increase marketing efforts (29.8%).
Respondents were invited to select any or all from a list of choices. Smaller shares say they are planning to add other equipment like a water heater or changer (23.4%) or another service (12.8%).
A share of 12.8% say they have other initiatives planned this year, such as lowering dryer prices, reducing drop-off hours, improving lighting and signage, or even closing a store so another store garners more business.
Roughly 11% are planning no changes, and 2.1% are unsure of their plans.
Nearly 81% of respondents predict their 2016 business will be better than (53.2%) or the same as 2015’s (27.7%). A small percentage believes “business won’t be as good as 2015” (12.8%), and the remaining 6.4% are unsure.
What is your greatest business concern looking ahead? The majority of coin laundry owners who took the survey say they worry “utility costs will rise” (38.6%). The need to update equipment concerns 13.6% of respondents, while 11.4% worry that more competition will open up.
Roughly 18% listed other concerns, including marketing, finding “good help,” the increasing minimum wage, and dealing with government that isn’t business-friendly. The smallest share, just 4.6%, is concerned about keeping up the store maintenance schedule.
The remaining 13.6% report they “have no business concerns for [the] coming year.”
Taking everything into consideration, how challenging is it to run a coin laundry today? The majority of store owners polled (37.8%) believe “nothing really has changed during the last five years.” One-third of respondents believe it is “more difficult to run a store today.” Approximately 13% say it’s “easier than running a store five years ago,” and the remaining 15.6% are “not sure.”
While the Your Views survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific. Qualified subscribers to American Coin-Op’s e-mails are invited to take the industry survey anonymously online. Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.