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

                              Mar 16, 2023 - Growth in High-Income Renter Category
                              • The number of American households earning more than $150,000 who are renting a house rose by 87% between 2016 and 2021 to more than three million, according to five-year US Census data estimates in the Wall Street Journal. The higher percentage of affluent renters may benefit the laundromat industry, as renters drive demand for laundry services. Austin, Texas, was the city with the biggest increase in high-earning renters, with a 154% increase over the five-year period, according to an analysis by RentCafe. Many cities across the South and Southwest saw a considerable rise in renters as workers moved to the region during the pandemic. Steep home prices and rising mortgage rates contributed to the higher rental rates. The Census found about 44 million households rented in the US overall, and the median income for all households was nearly $71,000 in 2021.
                              • Nearly half of small business owners reported job openings they could not fill in February 2023, according to the monthly jobs report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). Of those companies hiring or trying to hire, 51% of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. About 21% of owners reported labor quality as their top business operating problem, and 12% reported labor costs as a top concern. According to NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg, “The small business labor demand remained strong in February. Small business owners are working to maintain competitive compensation and are raising compensation in the hopes of filling their open critical positions.” A seasonally adjusted net 17% of small business owners expect to create new jobs in the next three months.
                              • Top areas of improvement for the laundry industry include training, sustainability, and cost management, according to a recent survey conducted by American Laundry News. The American Laundry News Your Views survey asked participants which areas of the industry need improvement. Nearly half of the respondents selected training, followed by sustainability (41.4%), cost management (41.4%), labor relations (37.9%), and certification/accreditation (17.2%). When asked how laundry and linen service operators can improve the industry, 30% of respondents said “make sure all equipment is functioning properly,” 23% said “provide a comfortable, safe working environment,” 20% said “using environmentally friendly chemicals,” and 16.7% said “provide good customer service.” Survey respondents also shared common complaints received by customers, which include high service costs (40.7%), incorrect orders or shortage of items (22%), goods that are not cleaned enough (14.8%), and goods that are not ironed or pressed well enough (14.8%).
                              • More than half of US states will prepare for a minimum wage hike in 2023, according to Planet Laundry. States raising their wage rates include California ($15.50), Connecticut ($15), Massachusetts ($15), New Jersey ($14), and New York ($14.20). Several states will increase their wage rates proportionate to the increase in the Consumer Price Index, including Oregon (currently $13.50) and Washington, DC (currently $16.10). While 27 states will increase their wages this year, the minimum wage in 20 states will remain the same at the federal rate of $7.25 an hour. Five states have not adopted a minimum wage (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee) and use the federal minimum wage rate.
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