Though the coin laundry concept is new to China, David Shen,
general manager of Shanghai Churun, a distributor of Speed Queen
brand of laundry equipment, has been active in spreading the
business idea. Shen opened a small coin laundry near his office
with three Speed Queen commercial topload washers and three
commercial dryers. The machines are activated by tokens, which are
sold by staff members who also offer added services such as
ironing, for an additional fee.
Shen found his customers were mostly young, singles or
housewives laundering larger items not easily washed and dried at
home. Shen sought feedback from his customers, who communicated
that his coin laundry prices were acceptable.
Bolstered by his early returns, Shen set up another store
earlier this year in a living community. He's also been educating
others, through trade shows and Shanghai Churun's Web site
at Alibaba.com (the largest
business to business platform in China) on the opportunities of
investing in coin laundries.
Because store location rental rates can be an obstacle to
developing coin laundries, Shen is exploring other business models,
such as installing equipment in budget hotels and universities.