Linen Supply 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 550 linen supply services companies in the US provide laundered items, such as table and bed linens; towels; diapers; and uniforms, gowns, or coats, on a rental or contract basis. Companies provide linen products and deliver cleaned and processed linens as replacements for soiled linens. Large firms may offer related products and services, such as washroom supplies or janitorial services. Firms may also process customer-owned linens. Large firms may manage on-premise laundries for customers or free-standing laundry cooperatives.

Capital-Intensive Operations

Industrial laundries are capital intensive, and the ongoing maintenance of machinery can be significant.

Government Regulation and Certifications

Linen supply service providers and industrial laundries are especially vulnerable to regulations that conserve water and protect the environment.

Industry size & Structure

The average linen supply service provider employs about 100 workers and generates $8-9 million annually.

    • The linen supply service industry consists of about 550 firms that employ 55,300 workers and generate $4.5 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated; the top 50 companies account for about 72% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms typically offer both uniform and linen supply and include Cintas, Aramark, Alsco, and AmeriPride.
    • Large firms with a focus on healthcare linen supply include Crothall Healthcare, Ecotex Healthcare, and Mission Linen Supply. Several large firms in this sector are family-owned.
    • Small firms typically operate within a limited geographical market.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Linen Supply Services Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Nov 22, 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.
                                  • In-person dining may never rebound to pre-pandemic levels, according to management consulting firm Technomic. While the pivot to take-out that took place during the health crisis is likely to continue to impact dine-in volume, consumers continue to value it the most of all dining options. Technomic said that it hasn’t seen direct evidence of consumers trading down to limited-service from full-service dining, but that that could change if inflation persists for much longer or restaurants surprise diners with add-on charges like service fees. While inflation has impacted the frequency of dining out, consumers may be tempted to dine out more as at-home food prices have risen faster than those for out-of-home food, closing the expense gap between eating out and preparing food at home. Some linen supply firms that service the restaurant industry saw business slip during the pandemic.
                                  • Linen services may be impacted by a new rule proposed by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) that would require companies to significantly increase their reporting on climate risk. Industry giant Cintas, for example, has already been asked by the SEC to disclose information about the amount of energy the company buys and how it manages the risk of rising temperatures. The agency pressed Cintas about material past and/or future expenditures for climate-related projects and whether it expected less consumer demand for services that produce significant greenhouse gas emissions, according to Bloomberg Tax. Cintas was also told to detail weather-related damages to their property and operations, and the impact of weather on major customers and suppliers.
                                  • 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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