CHICAGO — How many times have you thought about the perfect extra service? Can commercial work become a staple at America’s self-service laundries?
Sixty-three percent of respondents to American Coin-Op’s most recent Wire survey provide some type of commercial work at their stores. Three-quarters (75%) of respondents rate the profitability of this service as “good” or “very good” (43.2% and 32.4%, respectively). Twenty-one percent say commercial accounts bring in a “fair” profit, while only 3% say this extra-service profit center is below average in terms of profitability.
Of those who don’t offer this extra service, 52% said they would experiment with commercial accounts within the next year. Twelve percent are not interested in commercial work, and 36% aren’t sure if they will dabble in commercial work in the next year or not.
Taking on an extra-profit center doesn’t come without some challenges. Sixty-two percent of respondents say “soliciting the business” is the biggest problem associated with offering commercial service. Eleven percent say “Having the cleaning knowledge to handle certain stains” is the biggest problem, making it the No. 2 response.
Other problems include “Finding someone to do the work,” “Disrupting the normal customer flow,” and “Meeting deadlines.” Surprisingly, “Having the machine capacity to handle the commercial accounts” was not selected by anyone as a problem.
A BIG IMPACT?
Five years from now, 14.5% of respondents believe commercial work will replace drop-off service as the No. 1 extra-profit service. Twenty-two percent believe commercial work will rank just below drop-off service, while 54.5% say commercial work will just continue to be one of the many extra-profit services.
Only a small percentage see commercial work decreasing in popularity. Three percent say it will drop in popularity in the next five years, while 5.5% say it will have no impact in the future.
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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