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Survey: Nearly Half of Coin Laundry Owners Believe Customer Base Has Expanded

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — How does the customer base for your coin laundry compare to the base of last year? Is it larger or smaller? Nearly half of the store owners who took this month’s AmericanCoinOp.com Wire survey—47.8%—say their customer base has expanded in the last year. Approximately 39% say their customer base hasn’t grown during that time, and the remaining 13% of respondents are not sure.

Do you believe there are more people using coin laundries in your area than there were last year? More than half of survey respondents—52.2%—say no. Approximately 39% say there are more people using coin laundries in their area, and 8.7% are unsure.

It’s often said that people have less free time and thus are more likely to try a coin laundry once or twice, but this month’s survey results don’t really bear that out. Roughly 59% of respondents say they haven’t seen a bump in business to indicate that people are more likely to try a coin laundry due to busyness. Roughly 36% say they have seen increased business related to this, and 4.5% are unsure.

Why won’t more people give coin laundries a try? Two-thirds of survey respondents say there’s no need for them to visit a coin laundry if they have access to equipment at home. Nineteen percent say it’s became people are creatures of habit, 9.5% say it’s because coin laundries are dirty, and 4.8% believe it’s because they don’t know how to use the equipment. No one who responded to the survey believes it’s because people don’t want to mingle with others, or that coin laundries are too expensive.

If you didn’t have to use a coin laundry, what would be the most important factor in attracting you to a store? Among Wire survey respondents, it would be a bright, clean store (43.5%). Gaining the ability to shorten wash/dry time would be key for 26.1%, while having the opportunity to use unique equipment to handle a variety of needs would draw 17.4% of respondents. Smaller shares would be attracted by inexpensive prices (8.7%) or convenient hours (4.3%).

Approximately 61% of respondents believe about the same number of people will be using coin laundries a decade from now. Roughly 26% say there will be more people using them, and 13% say there will be fewer people using coin laundries.

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 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.

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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