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 AmericanCoinOp.com 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.
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