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Annual Distributor Survey: It’s a Business Boost for Many (Conclusion)

2023 projections: More than 71% expect year’s sales to surpass 2022’s

CHICAGO — Despite the impact of rising inflation and the lingering effects of a pandemic, a positive trend remains: a sizable share of laundry equipment and parts distributors saw their businesses on the rise again in 2022, based on results of our 2023 American Coin-Op Distributor Survey.

Roughly 57% of distributors polled in the annual survey say that their total business sales—including sales of newly constructed vended laundries and replacement business—were higher in 2022 compared to 2021. That’s just three percentage points lower than the year before.

About 14% of respondents say their 2022 total sales were lower than 2021’s, and 28.6% say that business was the same or similar compared to the prior year.

As for how distributors expect their 2023 overall sales will compare to those of 2022’s, nearly three-quarters of those polled are predicting brighter things for this year.

Distributors listed in the 2022 edition of the American Coin-Op Distributors Directory were invited to participate in this annual unscientific survey, which charts 2022 business and makes comparisons to previous years. In this summary report, percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

In Part 1, we examined year-over-year sales, replacement business and new-store construction. Part 2 covered equipment mix and store sizing. Let’s conclude:


How do the numbers from 2022 compare to distributor business performance in years past? Here is a quick recap of facts and figures.

The average store that was newly constructed in 2022 has 2.5 top loaders, 29.4 front loaders and 32.6 dryer pockets, and covers 3,027 square feet. Here’s how it compares to new-store profiles from the previous five years.

  • 2021: 5.7 top loaders, 27.3 front loaders, 29.5 dryer pockets, and 2,855 square feet
  • 2020: 2.4 top loaders, 28.5 front loaders, 33.5 dryer pockets, and 2,845 square feet
  • 2019: 1.9 top loaders, 30.3 front loaders, 34.4 dryer pockets, and 2,990 square feet
  • 2018: 3.1 top loaders, 26.5 front loaders, 27.8 dryer pockets, and 2,948 square feet
  • 2017: 2.5 top loaders, 28.6 front loaders, 33.4 dryer pockets, and 2,824 square feet


Distributors were asked if their company brokers vended laundries. Roughly 21% of respondents to this year’s survey say they do, compared to 24% in 2022, 44% in 2021, 26% in 2020, 34% in 2019 and 31% in 2018.

Roughly 43% of distributors polled operate a route laundry. That compares to 56% in 2022, 48% in 2021, 51.6% in 2020, 40.6% in 2019 and 50% in 2018.

The share of distributors that host an annual equipment show is 53.8%. That compares to 46.2% in 2022, 52.2% in 2021, 54.8% in 2020, 47.7% in 2019 and 50% in 2018.


How are distributors feeling about their 2023 overall sales, especially as our industry continues to deal with lingering business uncertainties stemming from the pandemic and other world events? Just as our survey illustrated last year, many are highly optimistic.

More than 71% of respondents believe their 2023 sales will surpass those of 2022, while 14.3% believe theirs will be the same or similar. The remaining 14.3% believe their 2023 business sales will fall short of 2022 totals.

Miss earlier parts of this article? You can read them here: Part 1Part 2

Annual Distributor Survey-It’s a Business Boost for Many

(Photo: © tumsasedgars/Depositphotos) 

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].