Global Laundry Services Industry
The global laundry and dry-cleaner industry offers laundering, dry-cleaning and coin launderette services as well as non-garment cleaning services, such as carpet cleaning. The industry services a range of customers – from individuals and households to commercial industries, the medical sector and government outfits.
Key Market Segments
- Companies operating in the dry cleaning industry offer laundering and dry cleaning services. Apart from garments, dry cleaners also provide specialty-cleaning services for textiles such as pillows and draperies. Commonly cleaned garments include fur, suede, leather and wedding dresses, reports IBIS World.
- Coin laundry refers to the use of self-service laundry equipment at retail locations. Other terms used for coin laundries include laundromats, coin-operated laundries and coin-op laundries. Coin laundries fall into the self-service laundry category, which can be divided into two market segments, namely coin-op laundries and coin-operated machines installed in residential apartment properties. Coin laundries have a market worth of between $50,000 and more than $1 million, generating $15,000 to $200,000 on a yearly basis. The average coin laundry occupies around 2,250 square feet, though they can range between 1,000 and 5,000 square feet, reports the Coin Laundry Association. As coin laundries do not require staffing, they generate income without the ongoing expensive of permanent staff, though they do require maintenance. The coin laundry industry has been in existence for around six decades and is mainly made up of individual operators, with no dominant franchises in existence as yet. In the US alone the industry counts around 35,000 operators. These operators collectively generate revenue of almost $5 billion each year. Demand for coin laundry services depends for the most part on a combination of population density and income levels.
Regional Market Share
- The US laundry care industry saw profit margins shrink during the economic recession as rising unemployment and tightening household budgets drove consumers to seek bargains. Euromonitor International points to 2011 as a year of change in the industry, signaled by a trend away from premium product purchases to more cost-effective alternatives. Consumers purchasing liquid detergents passed over top brands such as Tide in favor of more economic options like Arm & Hammer.
- The US commercial laundry, dry cleaning and pressing machine manufacturing sector generated revenue of almost $700 million in 2011, according to Supplier Relations. Gross profit for the year was estimated at just more than 33%, with the industry exceeding 50% of full production capacity. Had the industry used its full production capacity, its overall shipment value would have reached around $1.5 billion.
- In July of 2012, US consumer spending on services climbed almost 2% year-on-year, according to Hoover’s, representing a positive indicator for the dry cleaning and laundry services industry. While the US laundry and linen supply industry was negatively impacted by the economic recession, rising levels of employment in the food-service and hospitality industries are expected to continue to benefit the sector, reports IBISWorld. The US laundry and linen supply industry’s worth for 2012 is estimated at almost $12 billion.
- Growth in the US laundry and linen supply industry is also expected to be driven by greater numbers of health insurance policy holders, leading to higher patient flow in hospitals and necessitating the outsourcing of laundering services. Operating costs are expected to rise due to increasingly strict environmental regulations. The industry remains reliant on demand from specific sectors such as food, accommodation and manufacturing.
- The UK laundry care industry recorded 1% growth in 2011, reaching almost $3 billion, according to research from Euromonitor International. Industry performance was driven partly by strong demand for fabric conditioners, gel, concentrated liquid products and moderate growth in demand for powder detergents.
The global laundry industry is forecast to see climbing demand due to economic recovery, reports IBIS World. The industrial laundries market is expected to record growth due to demand from educational facilities, prisons and the healthcare sector. Future industry trends will be dictated by environmental concerns, with tighter regulations put in place regarding the use of water, energy and chemicals.
Leading Industry Associations
- Coin Laundry Association www.coinlaundry.org
- National Cleaners Association www.nca-i.com
- Dry Cleaning Institute of Australia www.drycleanersweb.com.au
- Professional Wet Cleaners Association www.prowca.info