This industry category includes establishments that primarily provide laundered or dry-cleaned industrial work uniforms and related work clothing, such as protective apparel (flame and heat resistant) and clean room apparel; laundered mats and rugs; dust control items, such as treated mops, rugs, mats, dust tool covers, and cloths; laundered wiping towels; and other selected items to industrial, commercial, and government users. These items often belong to the industrial launderer who rented them to users who may or may not have operated their own laundry or dry-cleaning facilities.
According to U.S. government statistics, the number of industrial laundering businesses fell from 1,613 businesses in 1997 to an estimated 1,488 in 2002. However, total industry sales for 2002 were more than $6.1 billion, up from the 1997 figure of just over $5 billion. Industry employment totaled 84,271 workers in 2002, with a combined industry payroll of $2.1 billion. Although many firms in this industry are small-scale operations, the majority of these companies employed ten or more workers. Linen supply cleaning and rental services are provided by 1,115 firms in this sector. Not surprisingly, industrial laundering businesses were most prevalent in densely populated states. California had the most, with 167 firms employing a total of 9,587 workers. The four largest firms in this sector accounted for 610 establishments while smaller firms made up majority.
As of 2005, the foremost industrial laundering company in the United States was the Cintas Corporation of Cincinnati, Ohio. The company had $2.81 billion in sales and employed a workforce of 28,300 in 2004. Cintas had a 15 percent share of the market for industrial uniform...