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 Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, 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

                              Coronavirus Update

                              May 9, 2022 - Laundries Optimistic About 2022
                              • In the most recent American Laundry News Your Views survey released in February 2022, more than two-thirds said their revenue increased in 2021 over 2020; more than 35% reported revenue was “way up.” Of those reporting stronger revenue in 2021, most cited improved sales and/or price increases as the main reasons. Of laundry owners who did not report revenue growth in 2021, the leading causes cited included public panic, government restrictions, and labor shortages. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said they are confident their business will continue improving in 2022.
                              • The COVID-19 outbreak slowed the circulation of coins in the US economy, creating problems for several coin-dependent businesses, including coin-operated laundries. Early in the pandemic, not only did retail activity drop, but consumers stopped cashing in their coins for paper notes. The US Mint also slowed coin production in the early days of the pandemic to protect workers. Consumers’ shifting to contactless payment options also reduced coin circulation. In late March 2022, the US Mint issued a statement urging Americans to help improve coin circulation by cashing in their coins at banks or retail kiosks and using exact change.
                              • Some industry insiders suggest that coin-op laundry firms consider adjusting their service offerings to meet customers' evolving needs. Touchless payment systems are expected to be very important, and some firms may add pick-up and delivery options as more consumers work from home and run fewer errands. Adding sanitizing features to existing laundry equipment can help draw in customers, differentiate from competitors, and generate additional revenue, according to American Coin-op. Sanitizing features include injecting ozone gas into cold water intakes, killing bacteria and viruses. Other disinfectants can also be added at various stages of the washing cycle. Sanitizing options can often be offered as add-ons to existing machine menus.
                              • Shifting population patterns that were trending before the pandemic, gained steam during the health crisis, which could create challenges and opportunities for coin-operated laundries. More than two-thirds of large urban counties saw their populations shrink in 2021, according to the analysis of US government data by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG). This change is thought to have in part been caused by the large increase in working from home, and a decline in immigration. About 80% of exurban communities (populations under 50,000 with at least 25% of the population in a large or medium-sized suburb and within a large metro area of 500,000 or more) gained in population in 2021. While exurban and rural areas saw strong growth, the number of suburbs that grew in 2021 declined.
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