CHICAGO — Nearly three-quarters of laundry operators are pleased with the overall condition of their stores, according to the results of this month’s AmericanCoinOp.com Wire survey, and many point to their equipment and cleanliness as the primary reasons.
Approximately 73% say they are pleased with their store’s condition, 23.1% are not pleased, and 3.8% are unsure.
What’s your store’s best feature? Among respondents, it’s primarily having equipment that’s “always operational” (40.7%) or the store is “very clean” (33.3%). Others pointed to having a “great equipment mix” (11.1%), the “best attendants” (7.4%), or the “lowest prices around” (3.7%).
But if you look at the best, you also have to consider the worst, and opinions are mixed when it comes to singling out their store’s weakest point. While respondents were presented with seven common possible answers, the largest percentage (33.3%) said it was something else: not having enough space, finding the right advertising source, lacking parking space, outdated lighting or not having WiFi service, for example.
Nearly 19% said their store’s weakest point was having high prices, 14.8% said it was being unattended, and 11.1% said they struggle to keep it clean. Equal shares of 7.4% pointed to a lack of varying equipment sizes, not offering extra services, and lacking customer amenities.
When respondents visit another coin laundry, the first thing that most of them (48.1%) notice is whether the business is clean or dirty. For 22.2%, the first thing they look at is the number of people doing laundry there. Equal shares of 11.1% are looking at the equipment mix or the presence of out-of-order signs, and the remaining 7.4% have their eye on the store’s look (color scheme, décor, etc.).
If they were given the money to make one major improvement at their laundry, 55.6% of respondents would add some new washers/dryers. Roughly 15% would give their store’s interior a facelift (new paint, tile, lighting, etc.), and 11.1% would add customer amenities (such as seating, a lounge area, air conditioning, TV, etc.). Smaller shares would hire extra help, bring in a maintenance person to fine-tune their operation, or something else.
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 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.