CHICAGO — August year-over-year sales for coin laundry operators in the South was up 9.9% on average, the largest increase reported among all regions, according to results of this month’s American Coin-Op StatShot survey. While that may seem extreme, operators in the Midwest tallied a 9.1% average increase, according to the unscientific poll.
“Business was much improved this summer,” writes one respondent from the South. “We had a lot of new customers, and as a result are putting in new and larger machines.”
Another respondent in the region replaced older equipment and is pleased with the results. “We replaced 80% of our old washers. One of them was a 50-pound [machine] and [it] was replaced for an 80-pound [model]. The results and savings are awesome.”
“Business was good,” says a Midwestern operator. “Lots of new faces. Increased prices helped.”
Elsewhere in the country, year-over-year sales for August were up an average of 5.4% in the Northeast and 3.7% in the West.
A respondent from the Northeast described his/her summer business as “Unusually strong. Usual summer drop-off in sales wasn’t as pronounced as in past years.”
“Slightly busier July than normal,” writes another. “Summer slowdown did not occur until August, when normal trends for summer season kicked in.”
In the West, positive comments were mixed with those lamenting the California water crisis, including mentions of water bills that had doubled or tripled.
Operators in the South posted the strongest gains among all regions in first-half 2015 profits, up an average of 7.8% over first-half 2014. Operators in the Midwest posted similar gains, up 6.2%. The Northeast saw first-half profits increase by 5.3%, while the West registered a 4.1% climb.
“We are still not happy, although things are going in the right direction,” writes a Northeast respondent, “and our profits increased. We are still at near break-even or at a loss for 2015.”
The unscientific StatShot survey includes information on sales, wages, costs or other financial data based on survey information provided anonymously by vended laundry store owners.
American Coin-Op audience members are invited via e-mail to participate in the surveys, which are conducted online via AmericanCoinOp.com. All self-service laundry owners/operators are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.