CHICAGO, Ill. — Half of the respondents in the latest Wire survey believe operators grade out a C in terms of how well they have handled recent challenges such as rising utility rates and pricing. Operators were asked to grade the stores in their area, including their own.
Nearly 40% of the respondents believe operators deserve a B, and 5.6 percent say they deserve a D. No one gave out an A or an F.
How are laundries falling short? The top-three answers in order are “Our prices have not kept up with the times,” “The stores need sprucing up,” and “Customer amenities are poor.”
Conversely, respondents were asked what the most positive thing they could say about area stores was, including their own. Strangely enough, based on the answer to the above question, 44% of the respondents said “The vend prices are fair for both the owner and customers” Other positive things about the industry include: “There are plenty of working washers and dryers” (22.2%); “The laundries have comfortable environments” (18%); and “Attendants and owners are on hand to assist customers” (14%).
Fifty-five percent of the respondents believe there are too many laundries in their area. One-third say that isn’t the case, and 11% are not sure.
Looking ahead five years, 42% of the respondents believe their stores will be more profitable than today. Thirty-one percent believe their bottom line will be similar to what it is today and 15.8% say their stores will be less profitable than today. Ten percent are not sure what the future will hold for their stores.