1.1 Definition and presentation
The laundromat (or self-service laundry) market is part of the wider laundromat retail market.
A self-service laundry consists of making washing machines and dryers available to the public for occasional use for a fee per kilo or per piece. A distinction is therefore made between coin-operated laundry and dry-cleaning, the latter is a service provided by individuals where one or more persons carry out dry-cleaning and/or ironing of clothes. Unlike dry-cleaning, in a laundromat, it is sometimes possible to offer alternative services to wait until the end of the wash, such as an Internet café or snack area.
Self-service laundries have had a boom in some parts of the world, but are not uniformly popular, as their spread is closely related to demographic and social factors. In Italy, in fact, the activity originally did not find solid ground, due to low demand - a large majority of Italians own a washing machine at home. Recently, however, with the rapid transformations of Italian society, also dictated by the growing tourism of foreigners and students away from home, self-service laundries are rapidly transforming the market. Laundries are generally located in the city centers or close to accommodation areas (student residences, campsites, etc.). When integrated into a franchise network, they benefit from the reputation, experience and know-how (administrative, commercial, technical and maintenance) of this network.
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