Coin-operated Laundries

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 9,600 coin-operated laundries in the US operate facilities with coin-operated or similar self-service laundry and dry cleaning equipment or supply and service equipment in other locations, such as apartments and dormitories. Some operators offer drop-off laundry services and some facilities offer a snack bar, coffee shop, or Wi-Fi access to occupy customers as they wait. Coin-operated laundries are also known as coin-op laundries, self-service laundries, and laundromats.

Dependence on the Rental Market

The coin-operated laundry business is highly dependent on the apartment rental market and occupancy rates.

Capital-Intensive Operations

The coin-operated laundry business is capital intensive and requires firms to regularly invest to maintain and replace equipment and implement new technology.

Industry size & Structure

The average coin-operated laundry operates out of a single location, employs about 3-4 workers, and generates about $465,000 annually.

    • The coin-operated laundry industry consists of about 9,600 firms that employ about 33,800 workers and generate about $4.5 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom; the top 50 companies account for about 41% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms, such as CSC ServiceWorks and Wash Multi-Family Laundry Systems, typically operate coin laundries in multi-unit housing settings, such as apartment complexes and dormitories.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Coin-operated Laundries Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Nov 15, 2022 - Most Laundry Operators Optimistic About 2023
                              • Most laundry and linen service operators have a positive outlook for 2023, according to the most recent American Laundry News – Your Views survey released in November. When asked about the prospects for their laundry operation in 2023, 50% of respondents replied with “Good,” and 9.1% said “Excellent.” Just over 30% had a “Neutral” outlook, and 9.1% replied with “Not good.” More than 26% of those surveyed said their top priority in 2023 was retaining and improving staffing; a similar percentage said their top goal for 2023 was to maintain their current level of business. More than 17% said they hoped to increase business next year. Nearly 48% of those surveyed listed inflation and rising costs as the issue that will most affect the industry in 2023, while 30.4% said that labor would be the main issue next year.
                              • High interest rates may prompt some laundries to postpone making investments in complete retools of their operations, but there are several, relatively inexpensive tweaks owners can make to increase revenue and attract and retain customers, according to American Coin-Op. Adding a family read, play, & learn (RPL) space can help draw customers with children by providing an area where kids can be entertained and learn while parents do laundry. Adding high-capacity washers is another differentiator that some operators wish they had added sooner. High-capacity machines lure customers that have washers and dryers at home but occasionally need to wash bulky items. Adding ozone sanitation to a few machines’ chemical-injection systems can attract customers looking for next-level clean. Such systems introduce ozone gas during the wash cycle, virtually eliminating all bacteria, mold, and viruses.
                              • While COVID-19 and pre-pandemic trends have been challenging for the dry-cleaning industry, coin-operated laundry establishments have fared better, according to recently released data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In the first quarter of 2022, there were 9,710 coin-operated laundries and dry cleaners, down 0.1% from Q4 2021 but 1.7% higher than Q4 2019, the first full quarter before the pandemic. By comparison, the number of establishments classified by the BLS as “dry-cleaning and laundry services, except coin-operated,” fell 12% from 18,756 in Q4 2019 to 16,497 in Q2 2022.
                              • Laundry industry experts are preparing for the possibility of more stringent federal and state regulations of a family of “forever chemicals” associated with various health issues. Per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) don’t break down in nature, are “bioaccumulative” in the human body, and are associated with cancer, thyroid problems, and fertility issues. PFAS chemicals are found in several products, including water- and stain-resistant garments. When such garments are laundered, PFAS can wind up in wastewater and, eventually, drinking water. In late 2021, the EPA released a roadmap outlining steps to reduce emissions of PFAS. To comply with a potential tightening of PFAS regulations, laundries may have to invest as much as $5 million in new filtration technologies, according to EEC Environmental, a wastewater compliance consulting firm.
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