CHICAGO — Approximately 21% of self-service laundry operators polled in this month’s Wire survey say they operate a cashless store, but 57.1% believe there will be a “higher” or “far higher” percentage of cashless stores operating in five years.
Among the 78.6% of operators who don’t operate a cashless store today, cost is their primary reason, chosen by 37.1%. Other respondents say their customers wouldn’t be comfortable with the technology (11.4%) or they purchased an existing coin laundry (11.4%).
Smaller shares say they’re not comfortable with the technology (8.6%), customers would rather use coins (8.6%), and they don’t want to hire an attendant (2.9%).
Twenty percent of those polled selected “other” reasons, with their explanations including the desire to “see” currency, not wanting to make customers carry another card in their wallet, and a lack of local competition making the shift to cashless unnecessary.
If they opened a cashless store, 51.2% say they would most enjoy not worrying about collections, and another 20% would enjoy new marketing opportunities. Being able to change prices quickly or having customers pay for their service in advance would be most enjoyable to equal shares of 4.9%.
Roughly 20% picked “other,” with many saying they would enjoy all of the reasons presented in the survey. One operator would most enjoy “not being jacked by bra-wire thieves.”
Approximately 10% of operators polled believe there will be a “far higher percentage of cashless stores” five years from now, and another 47.6% believe there will be a “higher percentage.” Roughly 29% believe there will be “about the same” percentage, 9.5% a “smaller” percentage, and 4.8% a “far smaller” percentage.
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—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.