1.1 Definition and scope of study
The market for self-service is part of the wider retail laundry market. This activity consists in making washing machines and dryers available to the public, for a period of occasional use, at a rate per kilo or per piece. We can therefore distinguish laundry from dry cleaning, where one or more people provide dry cleaning and/or ironing of clothes. Unlike dry cleaning, in an automatic laundry room, it is sometimes possible to take advantage of alternative services to wait until the end of the washing process, such as a cybercafé or a restauration area.
Laundries are usually located in the city center or close to accommodation areas (student residences, campsites, etc.). When part of a franchise, they benefit from the reputation, experience and know-how (administrative, commercial, technical and maintenance) of this network.
The self-service laundry is a business model that has become very popular in Brazil recently. The factors for this are diverse : changes in domestic habits (outsourcing cleaning and food services), expansion of Brazilian women's space in the labor market, increasingly smaller residential buildings due to the lack of space in large cities, the advancement of the middle class and the new working regime for maids.
Also, according to the Intermunicipal Laundry Union of the State of São Paulo (Sindilav), Brazil currently has more than 9,500 laundries, 7,400 of which are for the domestic segment and 2,100 for the industrial segment. Even if only 4% of the Brazilian population makes periodic use of automatic laundries, the union informs that 20% of the Brazilian population fits as potential customers, representing a great possibility of growth.
On average, Brazilian laundries wash approximately 8,000 tons of clothes per day, using around 190 tons of chemicals . In addition, it is estimated that there are around 16,000 machines installed in the country, with a depreciation rate of around 20%. The public is in its great majority female (70%) and 89% belonging to classes A and B, with an average age of 43 years. Overall, 48% are married consumers, 66% prefer laundries close to their homes or workstations and 88% prefer washing by piece.
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