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2012 Distributor Survey: Majority Enjoyed Better Business Last Year (Part 2)

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(Photo: © iStockphoto/Gunnar Pippel)

Bruce Beggs |

Similar outcome expected for 2012, results show

CHICAGO — A majority of distributors polled in this year’s American Coin-Op distributor survey enjoyed better business than the previous year and is expecting overall sales in 2012 to beat those of 2011.

Roughly 55% of survey respondents said business—including the sales of newly constructed self-service laundries, and replacement business—was better in 2011 than it was in 2010. And 59% predict that 2012 sales will be better than 2011’s.

Approximately 24% said business was worse in 2011 than 2010, and 21.1% said business was comparable in both years.

Every distributor listed in the American Coin-Op Distributors Directory prior to July 2 was invited to participate in this year’s unscientific survey, which charts 2011 business and makes comparisons to previous years.

EQUIPMENT MIX

Generating revenue is vital to an operation’s success, but overcrowding with equipment can be a detriment. For those of you thinking about adding a new store, or wondering what that new store down the street will be offering, here’s a quick look at what distributors are installing throughout the country.

Approximately 58% of the new stores had at least one top loader, up from last year’s figure (54%). (It should be noted that a handful of respondents chose to skip the top-loader question on our online survey, so the actual figure could be a bit lower. It’s possible some respondents didn’t install any top loaders in 2011, and skipped the question as a result.)

More specifically, here are the most popular numbers of top loaders put into new stores in 2011:

  1. 0
  2. 8
  3. 10
  4. 5
  5. 6

Newly constructed laundries in 2011 have 4.5 top loaders on average. (This figure factors in the stores with no top loaders.)

Here are the most common numbers of front loaders installed in newly constructed laundries last year:

  1. 40
  2. 30
  3. 15
  4. 18
  5. 45

Newly constructed laundries in 2011 have an average of 30.0 front loaders. This is up compared to last year’s figure (26.9).

The average newly constructed laundry in 2011 has 34.1 dryer pockets. That’s compared to 32.1 dryer pockets in 2010.

Here are the most common numbers of dryer pockets installed in newly constructed laundries last year:

  1. 50
  2. 40
  3. 30
  4. 20
  5. 25

DOES SIZE MATTER?

So, are small stores the way to go, or is having a larger store the growing trend?

Here are the most popular store sizes, in square feet, for those that were built in 2011:

  1. 2,500
  2. 2,000
  3. 4,000
  4. 3,500
  5. 1,800

Thirty-three percent of the newly constructed stores are 2,000 square feet or less. Roughly 52% are between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet, the same percentage as last year’s survey.

The largest laundry mentioned in the survey results is 7,500 square feet, and the smallest store is 750 square feet.

The average newly constructed store in 2011 covers 2,721 square feet. Some prior averages were 2,663 square feet (2010), 2,712 square feet (2009), 2,743 square feet (2008) and 3,200 square feet (2007).

The average selling price of a newly constructed store—not including the cost of land and building—in 2011 was $366,000.

In Part 3 on Wednesday: Looking back for some perspective

Click here for Part 1

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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