CHICAGO — For some, summer is all about fun. If you’re a self-service laundry owner, summer may simply be the time to get hot under the collar, according to American Coin-Op’s latest monthly, unscientific Wire survey.
Seventy-three percent of survey respondents report a drop in business during the summer, with 35% saying, “It’s somewhat down compared to other seasons,” and 37% saying, “It’s the worst season.” On the other hand, 13% say summer is the best season for business, and 7% say summer is better than most seasons. Another 8.7% of respondents say, “It’s the same as other seasons.”
Three-quarters of respondents see customer habits, such as the time that customers visit the store and the number of visits, change during the summer. However, 87% of respondents say this doesn’t lead to any operational adjustments, such as attendant scheduling, store hour adjustments, etc.
With school out, children are more likely to visit the laundry. Fifty-four percent of survey respondents say they have more child-related issues, such as children screaming or running around, during the summer. Thirty-two percent don’t notice any more problems with children, and 14% aren’t sure if children create more problems during the summer.
A good number of respondents say summer is the time when electric bills shoot up and the heat has customers complaining about a wide variety of things. One-half of respondents hear more complaints about the store temperature during the summer than any other season.
Is there a way to put a positive spin on doing business during the summer? Only 20% run any type of summer specials or promotions. A creative owner might be able to boost slumping summer business with a simple promotion.
If all else fails, you can always take a little vacation away from the washers and dryers. However, even though things are slow for most owners during summer, only 39% say they usually take a vacation during this time.
While the American Coin-Op Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.
Subscribers to American Coin-Op’s Wire e-mails — distributed weekly — are invited to participate in an industry survey each month. The survey is conducted online via a partner website. Each survey is developed so it can be completed in 10 minutes or less. Readers are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.
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