Considering that laundromats see billions of dollars in revenue each year, it is ironic that customers must still pay with quarters. Some companies are trying to change all that and take advantage of the growing unattended retail market.
Setomatic Systems is developing the SpyderWash System for laundromats, which will accept credit and debit cards and mobile wallets. A vending machine that dispenses pizza, the 24/7 Pizza Box, recently debuted, and Redbox, the DVD video game rental company with vending machines nationwide will be acquired by Apollo General Management from Outerwall. Unconventionally, clothes are also machine vendible, and a company called Flat Out of Heels provides flat shoes for the urban business woman seeking relief from less comfortable footwear.
Here are some statistics
$30 billion | The growth expected in the unattended retail market in the next five years
$1.6 billion | The price that Apollo General paid Outerwall for Redbox
$5 billion | Total annual laundromat revenue
$300,000 | The cash flow that can be generated by laundromats with a lower range of $15,000
35,000 | The number of coin laundries in the U.S.