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 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 17,600 dry cleaning firms 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 (percholoroethylene) 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 is independently owned, has about 5 employees, and generates $462,000 in annual revenue. It has over $100,000 worth of equipment, and spends around $7,000 a year on advertising.

    • The US has about 17,600 firms with about $8 billion in annual revenue.
    • 81% of firms have fewer than 10 employees.
    • Companies may operate as franchisees of national chains.
    • Segments include cleaning services for individuals and businesses, reselling, and alterations.
    • Large companies include DryClean USA, Zoots, PWS Laundry, and Martinizing Dry Cleaners.
                            Industry Forecast
                            Dry Cleaning & Laundry Services Industry Growth
                            Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                            Coronavirus Update

                            May 16, 2022 - Office Occupancy Slow to Recover
                            • The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on dry cleaning and laundry firms is likely to vary based on each firm’s customer base. Firms heavily dependent upon cleaning business attire likely have been negatively impacted due to work-from-home measures. Firms deriving significant revenue from business-to-business sales may see revenue rise as clients intensify their cleaning efforts. One in six dry cleaners in the US has closed or gone bankrupt, according to the National Cleaners Association (NCA).
                            • New COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant fell as quickly as they rose, giving dry cleaners hope that business would improve as more white-collar workers return to the office. However, the return to offices has been slow. During the first week of December 2021, about 40% of workers had returned to offices in the ten cities monitored by security firm Kastle Systems. By May 4, 2022, the average workplace occupancy level was 43.2%. Hybrid working models are expected to be the new norm, with long-lasting impacts on office occupancy. “It’s hard to imagine, when you look at office workers who can do their jobs remotely, that those numbers are going to get above 60% to 65% nationwide,” said Brian Kropp, chief of human-resources research for advisory and research firm Gartner.
                            • Nearly 85% of dry cleaning customers say it’s extremely important to feel safe about a dry cleaning establishment’s sanitation practices, according to the recent Cleaner’s Supply Dry Cleaning Consumer Pulse Report. Customers want to know dry cleaners are wiping down surfaces, including door handles, counters, and credit card systems, and offer contactless drop-off and pick-up. In an earlier Cleaner’s Supply survey, more than 70% of customers said they want touchless payment methods.
                            • Laundry industry professionals are ready to get back to attending in-person industry events, according to the most recent American Laundry News Your Views survey released in May 2022. The laundry industry’s biggest trade event, the Clean Show, was postponed during the pandemic, but the four-day event is set for July 30 in Atlanta. Nearly 60% of laundry professionals surveyed said they planned to attend Clean 2022. About 43% said they were excited to return, and just over 10% reported that they were not looking forward to the crowds.
                            • Dry cleaning firms may see less business if consumers pull back on apparel spending due to high inflation. Overall, consumer prices rose 8.3% in April 2022; apparel prices increased 5.4%. Nearly all US consumers are recalibrating their spending habits to afford higher prices for priorities including groceries, gasoline, healthcare, and housing, according to a recent report by customer experience management firm First Insight. More than 80% of consumers are searching for bargains and promotions, 40% are following a budget, and 28% say they are buying less.
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