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Annual Distributor Survey Shows Business Bump for Majority (Part 2)

Average new self-service laundry, 2018: 3.1 top loaders, 26.5 front loaders, 27.8 dryer pockets, 2,948 square feet

CHICAGO — For the first time since 2014, the share of distributors reporting their business had improved year-to-year was larger than the prior year, according to the results of American Coin-Op’s annual Distributors Survey.

A majority of distributors is also expecting overall 2019 sales to surpass those of 2018.

More than half of distributors polled (56.3%) say that their total business—including sales of newly constructed vended laundries and replacement business—was better in 2018 compared to 2017.

When it comes to sales projections, an identical share (56.3%) believe their company’s 2019 overall sales will be better than 2018’s.

Approximately 19% of respondents say their 2018 business was worse than 2017’s, while 25.0% say that business has stayed the same.

Distributors listed in the American Coin-Op Distributors Directory were invited to participate in this year’s unscientific survey, which charts 2018 business and makes comparisons to previous years. In this three-part summary report, percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

EQUIPMENT MIX

Wonder what equipment distributors are installing in new stores across the country? Here’s a quick analysis of trends, based on this year’s survey results.

Roughly 41% of new stores in 2018 had at least one top loader. Past survey percentages were 33% in 2017, 46% in 2016, 41% in 2015, 60% in 2014, 63% in 2013, 45% in 2012 and 58% in 2011.

Self-service laundries newly built in 2018 have an average of 3.1 top loaders, compared to averages of 2.5 per new store in 2017, 3.2 in 2016, 2.8 in 2015, 4.6 in 2014 and 4.5 in 2013. (These figures factor in new stores with no top loaders.)

Breaking it down, following are the most popular number of top loaders installed in new stores in 2018:

1) 0

2) 5

3) 6 and 10 (tie)

When it comes to front loaders, vended laundries that were newly constructed in 2018 have an average of 26.5 front loaders. This compares to averages of 28.6 in 2017, 33.3 in 2016, 28.5 in 2015, 27.5 in 2014 and 26.6 in 2013.

The most common number of front loaders installed in newly constructed laundries in 2018 was:

1) 40

2) 20 and 30 (tie)

4) 24 and 35 (tie)

Vended laundries that were newly constructed in 2018 have an average of 27.8 dryer pockets. This compares to an average of 33.4 dryer pockets in 2017, 39.1 in 2016, 31.7 in 2015, 32.4 in 2014, 32.8 in 2013 and 30.8 in 2012.

Following are the most common number of dryer pockets installed in newly built laundries in 2018:

1) 20

2) 24, 25, 30 and 40 (tie)

SURVEYING STORE SIZE

Are the new stores built in 2018 roomy or smaller and more manageable?

The most popular store sizes, in square feet, reported in this year’s survey were:

1) 1,800

2) 2,500, 2,800 and 4,000 (tie)

5) 2,000, 3,000 and 3,500 (tie)

Stores constructed in 2018 that are 2,000 square feet or less account for 28% of the total, while 40% are between 2,001 and 3,000 square feet.

These figures compare to the 24% of stores measuring 2,000 square feet or less and the 52% covering between 2,001 and 3,000 square feet reported for 2017.

The largest newly constructed vended laundry built in 2018 covers 9,000 square feet, while the smallest measures just 900 square feet, according to the survey results.

The average newly constructed vended laundry store for 2018 covers 2,948 square feet, which is slightly larger than the 2,824-square-foot average of last year’s survey. Prior averages were 3,132 (2016), 2,639 (2015), 2,696 (2014), 2,663 (2013), 2,754 (2012) and 2,721 (2011).

On average, a newly constructed store sold for $460,238 in 2018 (distributors were asked to exclude the cost of land and building). Prior average sale prices were $520,045 in 2017, $558,097 in 2016, $452,000 in 2015, $360,394 in 2014, $368,214 in 2013, $386,591 in 2012 and $366,000 in 2011.

Check back Tuesday for the conclusion: new-store profiles over the years, other business, and the annual forecast