The term coin laundry is defined as commercial-grade, self-service laundry equipment placed into service in a retail space.
Coin laundries generally occupy the retail space on long-term leases (10-25 years) and generate steady cash flow over the life of the lease. Coin laundries are unique small businesses in that they have no inventory or receivables.
Coin laundries can range in market value from $50,000 to more than $1 million, and can generate cash flow between $15,000 and $300,000 per year.
Business hours typically run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the stores usually occupy 1,000 to 5,000 square feet of retail space, with the 2014 average being 2,170 square feet. New coin laundries are valued based on actual construction and equipment costs, while existing coin laundries are valued based primarily on net revenues.
Coin laundries are also referred to as coin-op laundries, coin-operated laundries, self-service laundries or laundromats.
Coin laundries are one part of the self-service laundry business; the industry is actually comprised of two distinct segments. The first is coin-op laundries, and the second is represented by coin-operated machines located in apartment housing. This apartment segment of the business is referred to as the multi-housing laundry business or the route laundry business.
The coin laundry industry is approximately 70 years old and is primarily composed of individual owner/operators. No significant franchises are in operation at this time. Currently, there are about 29,500 coin laundries in the United States, generating nearly $5 billion in gross revenue annually.
Clean clothes, like food and shelter, are considered a necessity of life and coin laundries provide a basic health service for millions of Americans. While coin-ops are found in virtually all neighborhoods across the country, stores seem to perform exceptionally well in predominately renter-occupied, densely populated areas. These areas are increasing in number with each year throughout the country. The intense population growth, coupled with the expansion of rental housing, has increased the customer base for coin laundries.