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Laundromats in Poland? Good business venture or not?


Ziemniak 2 | 6
16 Oct 2008 #1
Laundromats are hard to find in Poland. Why?
If a laundromat were to be opened near you, would you make use of it?
Do you think that opening a laundromat in Poland as a business venture is a good idea?
gtd 3 | 639
16 Oct 2008 #2
I have thought about this for years. I do however think only tourists would use it. And even of them only a few. People with money stay in fancy hotels that include laundry service. Very budget travelers do it in the sink. The mid range tourist would be the main market.

As for anyone living here they have a machine in their flat. I have never seen a flat here without one.

My gut tells me it would not be a money maker but I could be wrong. The start up costs would take a very long time to make up as those types of machines are very expensive. Plus maintenance and rent of space. And if you do an automatic place with no staff expect the machines to be abused and damaged but the less respectful people around.
z_darius 14 | 3,969
16 Oct 2008 #3
Laundromats in Poland? Good business venture or not?

I'm not representing all Poles, but all Poles I know shriek at the thought of using public laundry facilities. I can't imagine washing my underwear in the same washing machine that someone just used to wash his, his smelly socks and godknows what else.
wildrover 98 | 4,451
16 Oct 2008 #4
Whats wrong with washing your stuff on a rock in the river like we all do around my village...? As long as somebody keeps an eye out for crocodiles there is no problem...
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
16 Oct 2008 #5
Do you think that opening a laundromat in Poland as a business venture is a good idea?

I mentioned this on the forum a couple of years ago. No-one took any notice.

I wouldn't use a laundromat, but I imagine there are a few hundred thousand students who might.

If I had the cash I would invest.
gtd 3 | 639
16 Oct 2008 #6
I don't think students would pay for laundry. Somehow they are managing now which probably means at parents for friends for free. I cant see Poles paying for something like this.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
16 Oct 2008 #7
Somehow they are managing now which probably means at parents

I put forward the arguement that some of them go home simply to get their washing done.

It would only work in big cities, possibly holiday resorts too.

Staff would have to be onhand. Otherwise your laundromat would become a doss house.

If Poles are using them in the UK then Poles will use them here too.

Are they using them in the UK ?
gtd 3 | 639
16 Oct 2008 #8
People that don't have machines at home have a money issue clearly. That means they are not likely to spend on a laundromat. Usually they have a machine in the flat. I have never seen a flat here without once...even small student housing.

A VERY small group like some travelers and maybe a few students would use them but I don't see it as enough to profit.

In the US they are popular as many flats don't have connections or laundry rooms. I could be wrong but I just cannot see this as a profitable business here.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
16 Oct 2008 #9
gtd,

Points taken. I can't get it out of my head that it might work though.

It's up to you, Ziemniak. Let us know if you go ahead with it.
pawian 161 | 9,971
16 Oct 2008 #10
Do you think that opening a laundromat in Poland as a business venture is a good idea?

It wouldn`t prosper in my area. Most residents have their own washing machines.

Even students who rent flats have machines in them.

I used the laundromat while staying in an unfurnished apartment in New York for a month or so. I didn`t like it - the washing cycle lasted only 20 minutes, as far as I remember. I had an impression my clothes weren`t washed properly.
szarlotka 8 | 2,209
16 Oct 2008 #11
maybe a laundromat with a difference? Combine it with a coffee shop/bookstore perhaps? Addiitonal income stream might be required.
gtd 3 | 639
16 Oct 2008 #12
Szarlotka there was a laundromat that served beer and food in one city in the USA I recall. It did quite well and was unique.

Pawian the 20 min thing has been discussed here...American machines work differently and clean just fine. But that is another good point. Euro washers take a long time and most people here wouldn't want to sit for a few hours doing wash.

You would also need air dryers like all other laundromats have as lugging heavy bags of wet laundry home to hang up would be another turn off...air dryers can shrink clothes and sine they are not common here people don't buy sizes thinking that. It might cause a mess when people's clothes come out tiny.
F15guy 1 | 160
16 Oct 2008 #13
They're called Duds and Suds. Duds for the clothes you wash and suds for the foam on top of the beer. Have one a few minutes from here.

there was a laundromat that served beer and food in one city in the USA

pawian 161 | 9,971
16 Oct 2008 #14
Pawian the 20 min thing has been discussed here...American machines work differently and clean just fine. But that is another good point. Euro washers take a long time and most people here wouldn't want to sit for a few hours doing wash.

Yes, a good point. Taking the washing to the laundry, waiting there, taking it back - it all requires a lot of time. Having a machine at home you just run it and take clothes out of it. That is why even poor people try to save enough money to buy a simple washing machine. The cheapest are available for about 850 zlotys - 330$.
Kowalski 7 | 621
18 Oct 2008 #15
Students HAVE lanudromats where they live.
It's been tried here and there with not much of success..
clouddancer - | 25
18 Oct 2008 #16
Students HAVE lanudromats where they live.

In all halls of residence (akademiki) that I lived in there were always at least a couple of washing mashines that students could use _free of charge_, and there were special laundry rooms for pepole with lines/hangers for airdrying clothes (I'd have much preferred using a machine dryer, but sadly they're not popular in Poland). I don't think laundromats would have any chance of succeeding here.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
4 Feb 2009 #17
Thread attached on merging:
ANY LAUNDROMATS IN POLAND?

Since Poland shifted to capitalism 20 years ago, nearly every business niche seems to have been filled. One thing still not too commonis the lkauindromat. With the gorwing ranks of singles on the market, wouldn't this go over? Of course, there are conventional laundries where you take your shirts and things to be laundered. Anyone know of any coin-operated laundromats in Poland?

Another unfilled niche iss the fish&chips joint.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
5 Feb 2009 #19
Sorry. On the few occasions I typed something in the search box, nothing happened, so I kind of got out of the habit. Besides, I didn't recall ever reading about laundromats on the forum.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,718
7 Feb 2009 #20
Another unfilled niche iss the fish&chips joint.

Unfilled for a reason, I think.
OP Ziemniak 2 | 6
7 Feb 2009 #21
I am not convinced that students have good, dependable access to laundry facilities. I am also not convinced that student are too cheap to make use of a laundromat (especially if a cafe or bar is attached.)

I do not agree with the idea of every business niche being filled in Poland. What I see in Poland is a bunch of the same: pizza places, pizza places, eateries all serving the exact same foods (nothing original), and more pizza places.

Everyone seems to be doing the same in Poland without any new ideas entering the scene.
When I travel by train in Poland, on weekends and especially on holidays, I see many students hauling their laundry home to be washed. Is it a stretch to picture these same students sipping a beer while their laundry is washed almost three times faster than at home?

Any laundromat would need to be full service. That means it must have dryers. There is the drawback of clothes shrinking but I don't see that as being a big problem. Some of the benefits of dryers are being able to wear your clothes the same day you wash them and having soft, fluffy clothes, unlike when they are hung to dry. My jeans sure do feel stiff after hanging on a line. Out of the dryer, they are nice and soft.

Hmm... I think this will work.
Keep the feedback coming, I appreciate everyones input.
szkotja2007 27 | 1,500
7 Feb 2009 #22
If you have the cash and want to take the gamble then go for it.

It should be quite easy to build up a business plan.
Initial outlay, ongoing overheads etc.
Sometmes you can rent the machines ( may even be a market in itself ).
I dont think there would be a high profit margin.
If you can do service washes and perhaps negotiate with small hotels a contracted service that will help the cash flow.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,718
7 Feb 2009 #23
Is it a stretch to picture these same students sipping a beer while their laundry is washed almost three times faster than at home?

Yes, it is.

Many students in Poland have the 'must return to mummy at the weekend' attitude - and many of them will travel a ridiculous distance to do so. The travelling with clothes part is just convenience - but until PKP wises up and realises that giving discounts at peak travelling times to students is ridiculous, the habit will continue.
ragtime27
16 Feb 2009 #24
Load of poeple in UK do have washing machines at home yet the laundromat business still exist,who use the service i'm not sure.

will the same rational can be used in Poland I'm not sure too.

food for thought
jonsbrooks
3 Aug 2009 #25
Ziemniak - i came across your post recently. i was traveling in poland and recognized the need for self service laundromats as well. i was wondering if you ever decided to move forward with the venture?
tj123 - | 85
3 Aug 2009 #26
It would fail. Everyone has a machine at home or they take it to their parents. Hotels have cleaning services. There are not enough budget travelers or transients to justify them. Not to mention open to the public laudromats are often vandalized and if they have automatic payment centers the machines robbed. (I have seen this in other EU nations) If you had set hours with an attendant you could avoid the last two worries...but anyway there are not enough potential customers. Nobody is going to pay more money for something they can do at a relatives or friends should they not have a machine.
misse911 - | 4
22 Sep 2009 #27
I don't know if the people that claim everyone has a washing machine in their flat are Polish or actually live in Poland because very few people in my family have one (or people that I know in Poland). At most they might have a small washing machine-no dryer. Other than that people do their laundry at home in the sink and not because they want to. I think it would be a good business venture. Right now there are places that do your laundry for you but I have to wonder if you could realize a cost saving (as a customer) by doing the wash yourself at a center versus paying someone else to do it for you. If the laundromat offered free wi-fi you could surf the net while your clothes wash and dry. Shelling out a couple hundred złoty all at once (not to mention the cost of energy) seems a lot harder than a few złoty a month to do laundry (not to mention being able to dry it).
vndunne 43 | 279
23 Sep 2009 #28
i think you would find people who would be willing to use a laundromat. I have a washing machine, but it is crap and i would not mind going to a laundromat and getting all my stuff done in one or two washes. In relation to vandalism etc. You could try something like they have in San Francisco i.e. there is an attendant there who will do you washing for you if you want, for a little bit extra. Also, you could maybe tie it in with a Dry Cleaners as well, so you have someone there doing the dry cleaning stuff and then an open space for people to do their laundry.
WarsaWasRaw
14 Mar 2010 #29
I think laundromats would succeed. Especially in Warsaw. Here's why:

1) A washing machine's useful life is about 8 years (416 weeks). This means that, on average, one in 416 machines break down per week. If the laundromat were w/in walking distance of one of the metro stations, then it would be conveniently accessible to roughly 100,000 households. Assuming that, on average, there is one washing machine per household, then that means that during any given week there are 240 households without a working machine. So much for the argument that there is a machine in every flat. The reason why there is a machine in every flat, working or not, is b/c there are no affordable alternatives. Which brings us to 2).

2) Polish people are proud and cheap, but their cheapness (greed) always trumps their pride. This is why so many Polish women work as prostitutes in the West and clean for the Jews. I won't speak of the men. They're such hypocritical people it's not even funny. Sure, they'll say that they don't want to wash their shitstained underwear in a machine where some other Polak just washed theirs. In one ear out the other. They won't shell out the 300 - 500 dollars for a new machine as long as they can wash that shitstained underwear in the machines of their friends and family. It hurts their pride to do that, but shelling out money hurts more. The laundromat solves a dilemma that is very painful for the Polish psyche.

3) There is a growing immigrant population in Warsaw. Immigrants are frequent users of these establishments.

4) Given the option, most business travelers staying somewhere longer than two weeks prefer to do laundry at a laundromat rather than through the hotel. Hotels are a rip off.

Laundromats let the business traveler make money b/c in their expense reports they can claim laundry at hotel rates.

5) Security. This is the biggest problem. Polish people just don't respect the property of others and that's not going to change anytime soon. If you just leave a laundromat open w/o supervision you'll have drunkards pissing all over the place in no time. And you have to worry about thieves and vandals. Some ways to mitigate this:

a) lease the machines (the leasing company is the owner and has them insured)
--by the way this is a great way to lower the initial capital outlay
--and limit your financial exposure. You can always buy out the machines
--form the leasing company if the laundromat turns out to be a success.
b) hire a security company -- they become liable for damages
c) offer pay by SMS discount
d) install metal doors that you can close remotely to trap the vandals
--what you do with them is up to you.
Any of these measures drive up cost that you have to pass this cost to the customer.

6) American style top loading machines for the regular price, Euro style machines for the discount offering. Top loading a washing machine is a novel experience for a Polish person.

It's kind of like discovering left-handed masturbation.
Admm
16 Mar 2010 #30
Hi,
I am sure that you should forget about it. Everyone has a machine in their flat. My friend rent an appartment without it when started working and moving to one of major cities. Altougth she had no money earned yet, she went for a loan and bought one immidiately. Thats just the way Poles live and are used to it. Different thing is "professional washing" (I dont know how to call this). You give your best suits or coats and they clean it proffesionally. This works in PL.

BTW some arguments i ve red are completely untrue. "Polish people just don't respect the property of others and that's not going to change anytime soon" completely opposite, where do some people got that from i have no idea. I am a Pole, only foreign country I ve been for some time is Germany. Trust me I ve noticed no difference about behaviour of prople of the two countries. Maybe apart from one, Polish people are a litle bit sadder...


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