CHICAGO — In addition to dealing with a weak economy, the majority of respondents to the most recent Wire survey say their laundry business slows down during the summer. However, a slow economy may have one positive effect on business.
A great majority of respondents (83.3%) believe this country is in a recession. Twelve percent disagree with this belief, and 4% are not sure if a recession is taking place.
Sixty percent of respondents say their laundry business slows down during the summer. Twenty-six percent don’t experience the seasonal slowdown, and 14% say summer business varies from year to year.
If summer is slow, it doesn’t mean the operators are inactive. We asked what operators do if their business slows down in the summer. The most popular responses are “I use the time to spruce up the store” (54.5%), “I cut back on staff hours” (27.3%) and “I change store hours” (24.2%). Only 9% of respondents offer any type of vend specials to increase business.
A slow economy can often mean a variety of things for consumers. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (65%) believe customers will cut back on extra services, such as drop-off service, if money is tight. Ten percent don’t foresee a drop in extra services, and 25% are not sure how extra services are impacted by a slow economy.
Now the good news: Seventy percent believe people will cut back on home washer/dryer sales during a slow economy. Twenty-seven percent of respondents are not sure if home laundry equipment sales will suffer during an economic slowdown, and only 3% say a slow economy doesn’t have an effect on home laundry equipment.
Based on the popularity of the “myth vs. reality” survey, how can one refuse another entry in this industry debate? Some have said, “The coin laundry business is recession-proof.” What do you think? Forty-seven percent of respondents disagree with this statement, and 38% agree that the coin laundry business is recession-proof. Fifteen percent are undecided about this statement.