Dry Cleaning & Laundry Services

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 14,700 dry cleaners in the US provide services to clean and maintain clothing and home furnishings, such as drapes and bedspreads. Services are provided to both individual consumers and commercial accounts and include cleaning, alterations, and repairs. Most firms are independently owned, but may operate as franchisees of national chains.

Changing Regulations

Industry regulation of Perc (perchloroethylene) is continuing to become more stringent.

Green Cleaners as Market Opportunity

Some dry cleaners are using growing opposition to Perc as an opportunity to operate in a more environmentally-friendly way, and advertise their “green” status.

Industry size & Structure

An average dry cleaner has fewer than 10 employees and generates $440,000 in annual revenue.

    • The US has about 14,700 firms with about $6.5 billion in annual revenue.
    • The average establishment has over $100,000 worth of equipment, and spends around $7,000 a year on advertising.
    • Dry cleaning establishments may be independently owned or operate as a franchise of a national chain.
    • Segments include cleaning services for individuals and businesses, reselling, and alterations.
    • Large companies include DryClean USA, Tide Cleaners, Comet Cleaners, and Martinizing Dry Cleaners.
                            Industry Forecast
                            Dry Cleaning & Laundry Services Industry Growth
                            Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                            Recent Developments

                            Jul 10, 2024 - Sales Higher as Employment Falls
                            • Total revenue for dry cleaning and laundry services was $8.8 billion in Q1 2024, a 6.7% increase compared to a year ago and 1.5% higher from the previous quarter, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. Employment by dry cleaning and laundry services fell by 2.4% in May 2024 year over year, remaining below pre-pandemic levels, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Meanwhile, average wages per hour for nonsupervisory employees were 3.1% higher in May 2024 compared to a year ago, reflecting the tight labor market. Average wages per hour reached $18.78 in May 2024.
                            • The Institute for Supply Management reported its services-sector PMI contracted to 48.8% in June 2024 from 53.8% the previous month. It was the second contraction in a three-month period, following 15 consecutive months above the baseline growth. The report tracked the performance of 18 service sectors, out of which eight posted gains in June. Growth sectors include Other Services, which includes Dry Cleaning and Laundry Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Construction; Utilities; Finance & Insurance; Educational Services; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. Eight sectors showed a decrease in June, including Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Mining; Retail Trade; Public Administration; Wholesale Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; and Information. The Services PMI report is based on data from purchasing and supply executives nationwide compiled by the ISM.
                            • Consumer confidence levels fell in June 2024, after an uptick in May, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index was 100.4 in June 2024 from 101.3 in May 2024. Dana Peterson, chief economist at The Conference Board, noted that confidence was the highest among those under age 35 and those in the income category of over $100,000. Plans for large appliance and smart phone purchases rose on a six-month basis, while plans for car purchases stalled.
                            • US office vacancy rates reached a 30-year high of 19% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to 17.8% in the same quarter a year ago, according to real estate firm CBRE’s Q1 office report in Facilities Dive. The majority of the 57 office markets tracked by CBRE in Q1 saw negative net absorption, meaning more space was vacated than leased. Still, tenant downsizing has slowed in the past 12 months as part of a gradual rebound, according to a JLL report on Q1 US Office Market Dynamics. The report expects office leasing to reach 85% of pre-pandemic levels in 2024. Workplace occupancy levels are a demand indicator for dry cleaning services.
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