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Evolving coin laundries in Japan

 

By FLORO MERCENE

 

ACCORDING to recent data, almost every Japanese house­hold has a washing machine, so why is the usage of coin laundry shops becoming so popular?

These days, coin laundries are located in shopping centers and in the middle of suburban resi­dential areas. They have a large space with bright and attractively appointed interiors, emphasizing cleanliness. Some offer a variety of choices with regard to laundry load size (9 to 27 kg) and prices. Some shops even have a special machine for washing sneakers.

In recent years, many coin-operated laundries have opened to meet growing demand par­ticularly from double-income households, which normally have little time to do housework on weekdays.

Another reason is that self-ser­vice coin laundries are considered a business that is relatively easy to start as they do not require staff to be stationed regularly at shops. The franchise operator provides and installs the machines, and beyond that their call center takes care of quick maintenance and repairs, though there is a fee for call center’s services.

Some coin laundry chain shops have launched a smartphone application information service to help customers make more efficient use of the laundry ma­chines. For example, a customer can check the occupancy status of laundry machines, receive a notice that clothes are ready to be picked up, and make payments.

Some customer’s main purpose is going to a coffee shop inside coin laundry to relax, and second­ary purpose is to do the laundry. There are some members-only coin laundries. It is monthly fixed amount prepaid account, and you can come anytime, as many times as you like.

If you think you are lazy at folding washed clothes, there is a service for it, too. There are some shops equipped with special tubs to shower and dry your pet. You do not get wet, and no need to clean up the mess after.

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