Revamp Your Laundry
Greening Your Laundry
Laundromat Videos & Tours
Express Laundry Centers
Resources & Tools
Industry History & Growth
Coin Laundry Industry Yesterday & Today
Coin Laundry Industry History
The coin laundry industry has grown dramatically since the early 1900's, when the first wringer clothes washer was developed. At the time, public coin operated laundries did not exist. Today, there are an estimated 30,000+ card and coin operated laundries throughout North America.
The public laundry concept, first seen in the 1920's and 30's, provided a place for the public to drop off laundry for cleaning. It wasn't until the 50's, though, that the self-service, coin laundry, or "laundromat" concept really took off. The small coin laundries, lined with a few washers and dryers, were in demand, but over time owners began to neglect them. As stores deteriorated, so did the public's image of the coin operated laundry.
The coin laundry industry surged again during the 60's and 70's, as investors took a more hands-on approach to managing their stores. They maintained equipment, kept stores clean and brought in ancillary services like drycleaning, wash-dry-fold and tailoring. Equipment became more energy-efficient, reliable and offered more customer options.
Card & Coin Laundries Today
Today, the average size of a card or coin laundry is 2,600 square feet, according to the CLA's Coin Laundry Industry Survey. The trend to develop larger coin laundries continues. So does the idea of providing more customer-craved services. Modern card and coin laundries feature TV lounges, vending machines, children's play areas, restaurants, tanning beds and more. The industry is robust—offering owners a solid return on their investments.
There is a bright future for the card or coin laundry investor because renters occupy 29.3 percent of the nation's 132 million households, according to the U.S. Census 2011 American Housing Survey.
Coin Laundries Cater to Everyone
But this doesn't mean a coin laundry isn't appealing to non-renters. Families with washers in their homes contribute significantly to the profitability of today's coin laundries. Today's big Continental washers take on bulky items, like comforters, rugs, duvets, drapes and sleeping bags. This bolsters revenue!
More than ever before, working professionals, families and businesses crave the timesaving conveniences delivered by card and coin laundries, including high-speed laundry equipment and services such as wash-dry-fold and drop-off drycleaning. Offering these perks opens doors for coin laundry investors. Sixty-six percent of card and coin laundries offer wash-dry-fold service, and 26 percent of those coin laundries cater to commercial accounts, according to a recent CLA Coin Laundry Industry Survey.
See Express Laundry Centers for more ideas on capturing this market.