The laundromat or self-service market is part of the retail laundry market, which also includes dry-cleaners. The activity consists of making washing machines and dryers available to the public in one room. This allows people, who do not have a washing machine at home, to come and wash their clothes there for a small fee, usually automatically.
The annual turnover is estimated at around 35,000 euros for an automatic laundry service. In 2010, the sector's turnover was 730 million euros. Despite the economic crisis at the end of 2010, coin-operated laundries recorded stable or even growing sales for some businesses, but only 30% of laundry is washed outside of the home.
The self-service laundry market is very fragmented, many entrepreneurs are willing, with a modest investment of about 50 000 euros, to obtain an income while being manager of a business with relative freedom. Washing machines are generally an investment for 8 to 10 years. There were over 4500 laundromats in France in 2017. Competition is strong, so the market can be described as saturated.
One strategy that entrepreneurs can adopt when opening a self-service laundromat is to go through a franchise. Wash'n dry has 750 locations in France. This company is part of a group distributing equipment for laundries. ALS also intends to establish itself in the market and aims to open 30 to 40 new laundries per year, a total of 200 by 2020. ALS wants to open 1600 new laundromats. The other trend that is emerging in Europe is the association of secondary services with laundromats such as a bar or a café. The innovative nature of these new types of self-service laundromats could make it possible to remain stable or generate growth in the coming years.
The factors that can influence the laundromat market are regulations such as health and safety standards. Moreover, the development of the cooperative economy could harm this market; it is increasingly easy for individuals to interact with each other directly and the website lamachineduvoisin.fr allows users to rent a washing machine from a private individual rather than to go to the self-service laundromat.
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