2012 Distributor Survey: Majority Enjoyed Better Business Last Year (Part 3)


(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.


If you built a store in 2011, how does it match up with the numbers from this survey? Here’s a quick equipment snapshot of newly constructed stores to give you some perspective.

Newly constructed stores in 2011 feature 4.5 top loaders, 30.0 front loaders and 34.1 dryer pockets. The stores are, on average, 2,721 square feet.

Here are the new-store profiles for the previous four surveys:

  • 2010: 3.8 top loaders, 26.9 front loaders, 32.1 dryer pockets, and 2,663 square feet
  • 2009: 5.7 top loaders, 27.3 front loaders, 32.6 dryer pockets, and 2,712 square feet
  • 2008: 5.8 top loaders, 27.8 front loaders, 32 dryer pockets, and 2,743 square feet
  • 2007: 6.7 top loaders, 27.7 front loaders, 35.2 dryer pockets, and 3,220 square feet


Forty-one percent of the distributors that responded broker self-service laundries (compared to 25% in the 2011 survey). Roughly 29% of respondents (compared to 31% in the 2011 survey) operate some type of route laundry.

Are open houses or service schools a distributor offering that you find valuable? Roughly 56% of respondents plan to host some type of open house or service school in 2013, compared to 48% in the last survey (you can check on upcoming distributor events 24/7 at AmericanCoinOp.com; click the “Calendar” tab above).


So, are distributors optimistic or pessimistic about 2012 overall sales? Fifty-nine percent expect 2012 sales to surpass those of 2011. Roughly 31% expect overall sales this year to be the same as last year. The remaining 10.3% believes that 2012 business will be worse than 2011 totals.

Click here for Part 2

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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