CHICAGO — The upswing in distributor business appears to be continuing, as the majority polled in American Coin-Op’s annual Distributor Survey once again enjoyed better business than the previous year, and is expecting overall 2015 sales to outdistance those of 2014.
Nearly three-quarters of distributors polled (68.3%) say that business—including sales of newly constructed self-service laundries and replacement business—was better in 2014 compared to 2013. When it comes to sales projections, an even greater percentage (70.0%) believes 2015 sales will be better than 2014’s.
Roughly 10% of respondents say 2014 business was worse than 2013’s, while 21.9% say business has stayed the same.
Every distributor listed in the American Coin-Op Distributors Directory was invited to participate in this year’s unscientific survey, which charts 2014 business and makes comparisons to previous years.
FACTS AND FIGURES
So, how do these numbers from 2014 compare to distributor business performance in years past? Here is a quick recap of facts and figures.
The average newly constructed store in 2014 has 4.6 top loaders, 27.5 front loaders, 32.4 dryer pockets, and covers, on average, 2,696 square feet.
How does this measure up to previous survey results? Following are new-store profiles from the previous five surveys:
- 2013: 4.5 top loaders, 26.6 front loaders, 32.8 dryer pockets, and 2,663 square feet
- 2012: 3.4 top loaders, 28.0 front loaders, 30.8 dryer pockets, and 2,754 square feet
- 2011: 4.5 top loaders, 30.0 front loaders, 34.1 dryer pockets, and 2,721 square feet
- 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
Distributors were also asked if their company brokers self-service laundries. Forty-one percent of respondents to this year’s survey say they do, compared to approximately 31% in 2014 and 29% in 2013.
Figures on operating a route laundry saw a rather large increase, with 52.5% of respondents in this year’s survey saying they do. That compares to 38.1% in the 2014 survey and 38% in 2013.
The share of distributors hosting an equipment show in the upcoming year jumped by nearly one-quarter, as 76.9% say they have such plans for 2016. The figure was 54.8% in last year’s survey (check the AmericanCoinOp.com calendar throughout the year for announcements of upcoming events).
What is the overall tone among distributors regarding how they feel about 2015 overall sales? For 70% of respondents, 2015 sales are expected to be better than those of 2014, while 25% believe they will be about the same. Just 5% believe that 2015 business will be worse than 2014 totals.