Clean clothes are a necessity of healthy living, and many people rely on coin laundromats to complete the never-ending task of laundry. In an industry that has spanned at least 70 years, coin laundries have been able to survive periods of growth and recession. As home ownership declines and urbanization increases globally, self-service laundry markets expand. In areas that are heavily populated, there is a greater need for new and reimagined laundromats.
So, how can laundromats continue to evolve to deliver a better, streamlined experience for tomorrow’s consumers? Which advancements are worth investing in to capture more market share? Read on to learn how these businesses are changing and how installing automatic chemical dispensing can positively impact laundromats.
The State of the Industry
Today, there are close to 29,500 coin laundries in the United States alone, an industry that’s generating nearly $5 billion in gross revenue annually. Coin operated laundry facilities can be found virtually anywhere across the nation, but the stores that appear to perform best are located in predominantly renter-occupied and densely populated areas. Studies on urbanization project that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050, so it is anticipated that laundromats will only continue growing in popularity.
Outside of population trends, laundromats are attractive for multiple other reasons. For one, laundry equipment is bulky and most people living in cities either don’t have in-unit washers and dryers or don’t want to install them due to costs and lack of space. Laundromats also offer larger (>50 pounds) and more energy-efficient equipment that enables consumers to wash many day’s worth of laundry in a fraction of the time. Finally, changing demographics and consumer sentiment suggest that many are opting for automating or outsourcing tedious household chores, leading to increased interest in alternative methods to complete laundry, such as wash-and-fold services.
Some laundromats are even undergoing technological and design changes, such as transitioning to touchless pay and adding Wi-Fi and cafes. These sites are investing to modernize the business and make the laundromat an attractive space that consumers want to visit.
One additional aspect that can also evolve is the way in which laundries approach chemicals. Chemicals, along with temperature, mechanical action and time, are fundamental factors to get clean linen in any setting. In the laundromat, the prevailing model has been for customers to bring their own detergent with them or purchase it from a vending machine on-site. Then, they have to manually dose these products. The model is not convenient for consumers (who can easily forget to pack detergent) and it does not offer much in the way of selection in terms of chemical types (e.g. bleach, softener, and detergents) or fragrances. Thankfully, there is a better solution.
Laundromat owners want to drive exceptional cleaning results and minimize costly downtime. Investing in easy-to-use and reliable equipment that supports these goals and drives customer satisfaction is key. Chemical dispensers are a smart solution to some of the issues that both laundromat owners and customers face.
This is because dispensers:
Yet another pain point for laundromat owners is the lack of visibility of their operations when they are off site. Some oversee numerous laundromats, making it even more complicated to manage the businesses and make critical decisions.
Fortunately, there are now dispensing systems and washers/dryers that leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) to provide additional improvements in laundromats. These offer their own unique advantages, such as:
Laundromats are an essential part of everyday life for an increasing number of people around the world. They mean more than just providing clean clothes to customers. In large part, they are a billion-dollar industry that has an impact on the planet. By introducing connected chemical dispensers, business owners can have a clearer understanding of their spend and environmental impact, and drive continuous improvements to deliver a better customer experience and reduce downtime that impacts the bottom line.
For more information on connected chemical dispensers, look into the Multi-Washer 3000 Series with EvoClean.
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