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

                                  Mar 22, 2023 - Hospitals Should Increase Use of Reusable PPE: TRSA
                                  • Hospitals should make reusable isolation gowns and other textiles more prominent in inventories to help avoid the type of shortages in disposable products that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, the TRSA told a House Committee in March. The TRSA advised the committee in preparation for the upcoming reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act. More than 90% of US healthcare personal product equipment (PPE) and operating room textiles are single use. In comparison, Canada and England keep inventories of 80% reusable healthcare textiles. Per the TSRA, “Congress should ensure that the [Strategic National Stockpile] contains a suitable number of reusable PPE to be prepared for supply-chain disruptions during an emergency. This could be done by either requiring a specific number or percentage of reusable PPE in the SNS. Reusable PPE can be laundered and returned to healthcare facilities without stressing the supply chain during an emergency.”
                                  • Consumer confidence levels declined in February 2023 for the second consecutive month, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 102.9 in February 2023 from 106 in January 2023, as high prices and rising interest rates affected consumers’ willingness to spend. According to Ataman Ozyildirim, a senior director of economics at The Conference Board, “Consumer confidence declined again in February. The decrease reflected large drops in confidence for households aged 35 to 54 and for households earning $35,000 or more.” Plans to purchase homes, vehicles, and appliances have cooled, in addition to a drop in vacation intentions, per Ozyildirim.
                                  • Restaurants and bars led the way for job creation in the US in January 2023, adding nearly 100,000 positions to reach 12.2 million workers, according to federal data reported in Restaurant Business Online. In comparison, restaurants and bars added 31,600 jobs in December 2022. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hotel industry also fared well in January 2023, adding 14,800 jobs. Even with the gains, total employment in the leisure and hospitality segment, a key customer of linen supply companies, remained 495,000 jobs short of where it was before the pandemic in February 2020. During the pandemic, closures of dine-in services and restricted restaurant reopenings led to widespread layoffs in the industry, which has been battling to find workers to return to work. Overall, US employers added 517,000 jobs in January, with an unemployment rate of 3.4%.
                                  • 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 correctly or shortage of items (22%), goods are not cleaned enough (14.8%), and goods are not ironed or pressed well enough (14.8%).
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