Survey: Many Coin Laundry Owners Plan to Spruce Up Stores in 2016

Bruce Beggs |

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.

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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