Survey: When New Coin Laundry Opens in Area, Most Owners Worry About Competitor’s Attractiveness or Size

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — When a new coin laundry opens in the area, more than one-third of operators (35.6%) fear that the new store will be more attractive or larger than their own, according to the results of this month’s Wire survey. Roughly 29% of operators surveyed say they don’t fear competition.

A new store offering cheaper vend prices is the worst fear for 13.3% of operators. Roughly 11% fear a store with a better equipment mix, 6.7% fear one that offers higher-quality equipment, and 4.4% fear a store that is cleaner than theirs. No one polled fears a store with all of its machines in working order.

When going head to head with a competitor, 31.8% of laundry owners consider the cleanliness of their store to be their greatest strength. Equal shares of 15.9% lean on 1) reasonable prices and 2) having every machine up and running. Another 11.4% rely on the size and/or layout of their store.

Smaller shares look to having the ideal machine mix (6.8%) or plenty of customer amenities (4.5%). None said “good marketing” is their greatest strength. Among the 13.6% who selected “other,” they named things such as customer service or having an attended store. Still other respondents said every option was their greatest strength.

Roughly 53% admitted they would take a “mild hit” if a “good” laundry opened in their area this week, with another 22.2% saying they would suffer a “major hit.” Approximately 13% would lose little, if any, business, and another 2.2% would lose no business. The remaining 8.9% was unsure.

Approximately 61% of respondents believe there are too many self-service laundries in their respective areas. Roughly 34% don’t believe there are too many stores, and 4.5% are unsure.

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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