Are you doing laundry this weekend? Are you running fewer loads than you used to, going longer between washes, or even using a friend or relative’s equipment in order to avoid unloading a pocketful of quarters at the laundromat? If so, you’re not alone. Laundromats, once thought to be a recession-proof business, are surprisingly vulnerable to economic downturns.
People always need to do laundry—the question is how often, and where.
Yet in a measure of the potency of this particular downturn, some coin laundries are closing, and many others are battling sales declines. Job loss and economic woe are forcing Americans to cut back even on their laundry costs, either by using the home equipment of friends or relatives or by wearing items multiple times between washes. Even urban flight and reverse migration due to economic hardship appear to be agitating the industry.
“Now more than ever the adage that we’re recession-proof is being tested,” says Brian Wallace, president of the Coin Laundry Association.
Where do you do your laundry, and have your habits changed in the last few years? Do you try to save a few quarters by wearing jeans an extra day or two?
Even Laundries Tumble in This Economic Cycle [Wall Street Journal] (Thanks, PecanPi!)