CHICAGO — The majority of coin laundry owners are planning to raise prices in the new year (61.5%), according to results from this month’s American Coin-Op Your Views survey.
Further, store owners say they plan to spruce up their store (46.2%), add new washers and/or dryers (38.5%), do more marketing (25.6%), add other equipment such as water heaters, changer, etc. (23.1%), and/or add another service (15.4%) (respondents were invited to select any or all from a list of choices).
A share of 10.3% say they have other initiatives planned this year, such as adding a snack bar, remodeling, boosting online marketing, and even selling their business. Another 10.3% say they have no changes planned.
“Business will be better than 2013,” predicts 56.4% of respondents, while 28.2% say it will “be the same as 2013.” A small percentage (2.6%) believes “business won’t be as good as 2013,” while 12.8% are unsure.
Among their greatest business-related concerns in the new year, the majority of coin laundry owners say they worry “utility costs will continue to rise” (64.1%). Increasing competition worries a small percentage of owners (7.7%), while equal shares of 5.1% fear they “may lose customers if [they] raise prices,” “won’t be able to keep up with maintenance schedule,” or “may need to update equipment.” Another 5.1% of respondents report they “have no business concerns this year.”
Approximately 8% listed other concerns, including “competing against free-dry stores.”
Taking everything into consideration, how challenging is it to run a coin laundry today? The majority of store owners polled say it is “more difficult” (53.8%), while 35.9% say “nothing has really changed during the last five years.” Roughly 10% say it is “easier than running a store five years ago.” No one who responded to the survey was “not sure.”
While American Coin-Op’s Your Views survey presents a snapshot of the audience’s viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific. 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.