Picking a Laundromat Location
From commercial laundry equipment to financing to customer service, there’s a lot that goes into operating a successful laundromat business. However, one of the key indicators of success comes way before you even open the door to your laundry facility. Location, location, location! We can’t stress enough that location is one of the top things to consider when opening a laundromat. It can make or break your laundry business. Location can determine whether customers utilize your facility, potential safety and security risks, and even opportunities for future growth. As you’re choosing where to operate your new laundromat, here are a few things to consider:
In the laundry industry, almost 90% of your core demographic lives within one mile of your laundry facility. That means you need to pay special attention to people living in the area surrounding a potential laundromat location. When evaluating whether or not a laundromat would be a good fit at a specific location, you should gather information about the number of renters (since renters make up a large portion of laundromat clientele), the average income, average family size, and population increases and decreases. While customers vary, a “typical” laundromat customer is in a low income bracket and lives in an apartment building, university/student housing, condo, or mobile home.
Speed Queen recommends the following ideal demographic criteria:
- 35% or more of the surrounding households are renters.
- The average household size is 2.3 or higher.
- 40% of the surrounding households earn less than $35,000 per year.
Of course you want a visually appealing, well-constructed building, but a good laundromat location goes beyond whether or not the building is structurally sound. It’s about taking in all the different angles and aspects of a potential location. An ideal laundromat location is on a main roadway, highly visible, and has plenty of parking with easy access, according to Speed Queen. Also take note of the surrounding businesses and what type of clientele they draw in. Grocery, convenience, auto parts, and check cashing stores make excellent neighbors for laundromats.
Safety and security should also be in the forefront of your mind. The area should be clear and well-lit in order to deter theft, so pay attention to landscaping, fencing, and lighting. It’s also not a bad idea to gather local crime statistics from police and online resources to help give you an idea of potential safety risks.
Another key factor to consider is your long term goals for the facility. While shopping centers and mini-malls may have plenty of parking and regular customers, they may not provide a lot of opportunity for growth. On the other hand, a free-standing building could allow for the freedom to upgrade and expand your business, but may lack the added security and foot traffic that comes with having attached neighbors.
The Surrounding Competition
As with any business, you’ll want to check out the competition surrounding a potential location. Visit existing laundromats, on-premises and multi-housing laundry facilities, and even dry cleaners in the area so you know what you’re up against. Without being conspicuous, take note of things like what amenities and services they offer, what equipment is there (including brands and how many machines), peak service times, prices, and any other relevant details. If you do decide to open a laundromat in the area, having insight on the competition will help you effectively market your laundry facility and find your niche.
We understand that finding the right new or existing laundromat location can be a daunting task. If you’re new to the laundry business, partnering with a laundry distributor like Martin-Ray Laundry Systems can help get you off to a good start. In addition to assisting you stock your laundry business with the best commercial laundry equipment distributors like us can share industry knowledge and expertise when it comes to site selection, design, and layout. If you’re in our sales & service area, contact us today to get started!