Survey: Nearly Half of Respondents Believe Industry Image Needs Improving

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — The self-service laundry industry has some work to do on its image, based on the results of this month’s Wire survey.

Nearly half of the respondents to the unscientific survey—47.4%—don’t believe the self-service laundry industry presents a good image. Roughly 26% do believe the industry presents a good image, and the remaining 26.3% are unsure.

Sprucing up of stores by their operators would be the best thing to happen to the industry in 2012, according to 50% of respondents. Another 27.8% believe having fewer stores would be best. Roughly 17% think implementing industrywide price hikes would be the best thing that could happen.

As far as naming the next major change in this industry, 47.4% of respondents believe there will be no major changes in the next several years. Technology will play a greater role in their businesses, according to 31.6% of respondents.

Approximately 26% say that smaller laundries will gradually die out, while 15.8% believe that laundries will offer a broader array of services. None of the respondents see the emergence of a strong franchise operation.

Respondents also had the opportunity to comment on what they expect from their business in 2012. Several comments related to increased growth (at least two operators hope for 10% increases) while other operators just hope they can weather the economic storm and withstand what they believe will be a tough year. One operator wants to improve his/her customer service.

The Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, but it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take a brief 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.

To sign up for the Wire, click the “Subscriptions” button at the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the instructions.


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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