How does a low priced, low margin industry support the expensive automation and technological developments that are so obviously needed? The recent Frankfurt exhibition had 17000 visitors viewing the products and services of 258 exhibitors. All the manufacturers LCN talked to reported filling their order books, which, given the reported declining state of the laundry and dry cleaning industries, is remarkable. A good linguist may have detected the words ‘deep discount’ spoken in a least ten languages.

Competition is continually forcing down prices to what appears to be sub-economic levels and it is amazing that laundries and drycleaners can afford to buy the latest machines and equally amazing that the machines can be offered at such prices.

It is of course the technology that makes low price/ high volume production viable and if the laundry conglomerates are to continue expanding they will need the latest and fastest equipment. However, with their customers paying less than they did ten years ago it will be a difficult equation to balance.

Bill Evett