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Annual Distributor Survey: It’s a Business Boost for Many (Part 2)

Average new self-service laundry: 2.5 top loaders, 29.4 front loaders, 32.6 dryer pockets, 3,027 square feet

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. Let’s continue:


What equipment are distributors are installing in new stores across the country? Based on this year’s survey results, American Coin-Op offers the following analysis.

Top Loaders — Nearly 39% of new stores in 2022 had at least one. Shares in past surveys were 30% in 2021, 32% in 2020, 33.3% in 2019, 41% in 2018 and 33% in 2017.

Self-service laundries newly built in 2022 have an average of 2.5 top loaders, compared to averages of 5.7 per new store in 2021, 2.4 in 2020, 1.9 in 2019, 3.1 in 2018 and 2.5 in 2017. (These figures factor in new stores with no top loaders.)

Front Loaders — When it comes to front loaders, vended laundries that were newly built in 2022 have an average of 29.4 machines. This compares to prior front-loader averages of 27.3 in 2021, 28.5 in 2020, 30.3 in 2019, 26.5 in 2018 and 28.6 in 2017.

Among the new stores built last year, 23.1% installed fewer than 20 front loaders and 76.9% installed 20 or more.

Dryer Pockets — Vended laundries that were newly constructed in 2022 have an average of 32.6 dryer pockets. This compares to an average of 29.5 pockets in 2021, 33.5 pockets in 2020, 34.4 pockets in 2019, 27.8 in 2018, and 33.4 in 2017.

Fewer than 20 dryer pockets were installed in 15.4% of new stores built in 2022. The share of newly built stores installing 20 or more pockets was 84.6%.


Do you think that stores built in 2022 are smaller and more manageable, or are they more spread out? How do you think the new stores built last year compare to earlier builds?

Stores constructed last year that cover an average of 2,000 square feet or less account for 15.4% of the total, which 46.2% average between 2,001 and 3,000 square feet.

These figures compare to the 33.3% of stores measuring 2,000 square feet or less and the 46.7% covering between 2,001 and 3,000 square feet reported for 2021.

The largest newly constructed vended laundry build in 2022, according to the survey results, covers 7,500 square feet, while the smallest measures just 800 square feet.

The average newly constructed vended laundry store for 2022 covers 3,027 square feet, comfortably exceeding the 2,855-square-foot average for 2021. Other prior averages in recent years were 2,845 for 2020, 2,990 for 2019, 2,948 for 2018 and 2,824 for 2017.

On average, a newly constructed store sold for $593,300 in 2022 (distributors were asked to exclude the cost of land and building in their calculation). Prior average sale prices were $421,818 (2021), $429,563 (2020), $497,864 (2019), $460,238 (2018) and $520,045 (2017).

Coming in Thursday’s conclusion: New-store profiles, other business, and the 2024 forecast

Miss Part 1? You can read it HERE

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

(Photo: © ramonakaulitzki/Depositphotos)

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