CHICAGO — How safe do you consider the neighborhood where your laundry is located? Do you think your customers or employees feel safe in your store while doing laundry or working there?
Nearly three-quarters of respondents to this month’s AmericanCoinOp.com Wire survey describe their neighborhood as “somewhat safe.” Roughly 19% say their neighborhood is “neither safe nor unsafe,” and the remaining 7.4% describe theirs as “extremely safe.”
No one who took the survey described their neighborhood as “somewhat unsafe” or “not safe at all.”
Yet, more than 40% of operators say they, an employee or a customer have been a victim of crime at their laundry. Most of these incidents involved burglaries or robberies. An employee was threatened with a knife in one case, while an attendant was pushed to the ground in another.
A surveillance system is the most popular safety-related feature or practice utilized by respondents (77.8%). Other popular choices are employees/owner watch store (48.1%), alarm system (44.4%), signage (33.3%) and some type of weapon (29.6%).
Thirty-seven percent of operators who responded to the survey have brought a firearm to their laundry. Among those who haven’t, 35.3% said they would consider carrying a firearm while there.
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.
To sign up for the Wire, click the “Subscriptions” button at the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the instructions.