The first is that, for most of us, meeting the demands of work and our personal lives leads to a time crunch -- there just aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we would like to.
Laundry owners are capitalizing on this reality by offering their customers time-saving convenience in the form of wash-and-fold (drop-off service) and dry-cleaning service.
"I don't think we'll ever cross that threshold into making laundry fun," Wallace said, "but we're making it more comfortable."Tom Leavitt, owner of Darcies Laundry in the Seattle area at time of interviewing, opened three new stores, all of them near older, smaller laundries, most of which have since closed.
Darcies offers customers a better deal: bigger stores with play areas for children and attendants on duty at all times. "They're clean, they have a friendly environment, and they have a lot of machines, so you can get in and out of there as fast as possible."The Good News As the population of the United States grows, the number of renters -- your main market -- is likely to grow, too.
"It's by far the number-one extra service for laundries," said Partyka.
"It's doing well." Partyka also notes that even people with washers and dryers at home are using self-service laundries for the sake of convenience.
Many laundry owners also employ attendants to keep an eye on the store and help customers use the equipment.
Laundromat Renaissance The coin-operated laundry industry has changed in response to several trends.
The industry is what experts describe as a "mature market." Save for areas that are seeing high population growth, pretty much every neighborhood that needs a laundry has one -- or two or three -- that are competing vigorously.
In some areas of the country, there are too many laundromats already. Many get into the business by purchasing an existing laundry and renovating it.