Shanghai Churun Adapts Coin Laundry Concept for China

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.

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