People need devices and services that enable them to do their daily chores faster. Commercial laundry machines; laundromats, on-demand laundry services, and other commercial laundry services are increasingly being availed globally to fulfill these needs.
The increasing demand has caused the deployment of innovative techniques like online laundry services. A large number of laundry service providers are going online and also using mobile applications to attract more customers. They install commercial washing machines at their operating places and are equipped to handle largely traffics at one time. A commercial washing machine is designed for more frequent use than a consumer washing machine. It focuses more on size, durability and functionality rather than style. These bulky and heavy commercial machines are normally made with more expensive stainless steel to minimize corrosion as they are operated constantly in an environment that is wet and full of moisture. They are built with large service covers that can be opened easily, and their washers are designed in a way that they do not require access to the underside for service. Often commercial washing machines are installed in long rows with a wide passageway to access all the machines to allow maintenance without having to move the heavy machines.
There has been an extensive increase in the usage of commercial washing machines in the past few years, despite considerable advancements in the domestic washing machines. An increase in people’s disposable income is a major contributing factor for this shift. Another crucial factor is the rise in dual-income families, where the money comes from two separate incomes. The number of dual-income families has increased by 31 percent between 1996 and 2006. A recent research based on worldwide Commercial Washing Machine Market 2016-2020, has been conducted to study the scope of commercial laundry services in the international scenario. The report examines the revenue generated from the global retail sales of commercial washing machines. It estimates the worldwide commercial washing machine market to surge at a growth rate of (compound annual growth rate) of 4.53% during the stated time span from 2016-2020. It is based on an in-depth analysis of the market landscape and its growth prospects.
One of the primary factors for supply in the market is increase in the number of laundromats – a commercial set up where cloths can be washed and dried in the coin-operated machines. The growth of online laundry services in the developed countries is also fueling the market. Moreover, the popularity of coin laundries is surging rapidly in Japan largely due to the rising count of dual-income households. Moreover, the prime reason for the increase in female employment in Japan is the acute labor shortage. According to statistics, in 2015, there were 28% more jobs available than people looking to work in the country. As working couples find it difficult to get time for doing laundry, among other chores, they prefer coin laundries. This has largely increased the demand for coin laundries in the country. According to the Japanese Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, the number of operational coin laundries is increasing rapidly every year – over 16,500 new coin laundries were installed across the country in 2013.
There has been a keen focus on research and development activities by various large conglomerates and several medium and small-sized industries. At present, the key vendors in the global market are Alliance Laundry Systems, Dexter Apache Holdings, Continental Girbau, Electrolux, and Whirlpool. While other important vendors in the market are JLA, BÖWE, GE, R. Stahl, G.A. Braun, Lead Laundry and Catering, Renzacci, Shanghai Shenguang Laundry Machinery Group, Schulthess Maschinen, LG Electronics, Miele Company, Pellerin Milno and Stefab. Europe and the US make the largest revenue contributors to the worldwide commercial washing machine market owing to the high penetration of laundromats in these countries. Laundromats and online on-demand laundry services are still an emerging concept in the developing countries like India and China. Hence, the demand for the commercial laundry services is increasing rapidly in emerging economies.
Commercial washing machines can be segmented into two types: front load washers and top load washers. Front Load washers are more expensive but according to market studies, they account for the majority of market shares and are anticipated to dominate the market for the next few years. Also, front load washers conserve as much as 20 gallons of water per load and have a higher spin speed than top loading washers, helping in extracting more water and thus causing the cloths to dry much quickly. Most of the coin-operated laundromats use front load washing machines as they consume less time and energy. The major challenges to the worldwide commercial washing machine market are that of environment and supply chain in the developing countries. The bulky machines have heavy energy requirements and due to the relatively high cost of reparation, washing machines cause a large amount of electronic waste. They also release vast quantity of water and detergents that have to be disposed into water bodies. In the developing economies, logistics services pose a serious challenge, especially for online laundry service vendors.