Survey: Rising Utility Costs Behind Majority of Laundromat Price Hikes

Carlo Calma |

CHICAGO — Meeting the demands of rising utility costs is the main reason why the majority of coin laundry operators (41.2%) decide to raise prices, according to results in this month’s American Coin-Op Your Views survey.

Other operators raise prices to “generate more revenue” (23.5%), while close to 15% do it to “afford new equipment.” Roughly 12% say that raising prices is something they do “every so many years,” while 5.9% say prices go up when they decide to “spruce up the store.” A small fraction of respondents (2.9%) say that they are “the lowest-priced store in the area.”

When raising their prices, 47.1% of respondents say they “don’t publicize price hikes in any fashion,” while 29.4% say they “let customers know” about the price hike, and why they are raising prices. The remaining 24% say they only make “minimal effort to announce a price hike.”

More than half of respondents (52.9%) do not feel guilt or apprehension when raising prices.

Approximately 74% of respondents say they have already raised washer and/or dryer prices at their store in 2014, or intend to do so before the end of the year, while 11.8% say they have no such plans. Roughly 15% are unsure if they will be raising prices this year. Some respondents raised their prices as recently as February, while one operator last raised his/her prices in August 2009.

Roughly 53% of respondents say they expect to lose 1-5% of their customers when they raise prices, while 29.4% say they do not expect to lose any customers at all. Close to 15% expect to lose 6-10% of their clientele when they raise prices, while 2.9% expect to lose 11-15%. No respondents believe that they will lose 16% or more of customers when raising prices.

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.

About the author

Carlo Calma

Freelance Writer

Carlo Calma is a freelance writer and former editor of American Coin-Op.

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