CHICAGO — It’s a different year but the same, old story. And it’s a good one!
Distributor business remains strong, based on the results of American Coin-Op’s annual Distributors Survey. The majority polled once again enjoyed better business than the previous year, and is expecting overall 2016 sales to surpass those of 2015.
Slightly more than two-thirds of distributors polled (67.4%) say that business—including sales of newly constructed vended laundries and replacement business—was better in 2015 compared to 2014. When it comes to sales projections, an even larger percentage (68.8%) believes 2016 sales will be better than 2015’s.
Just 13% of respondents say 2015 business was worse than 2014’s, while 19.6% say that business has stayed the same.
Distributors listed in the previous edition of the American Coin-Op Distributors Directory were invited to participate in this year’s unscientific survey, which charts 2015 business and makes comparisons to previous years.
NEW-STORE PROFILES OVER THE YEARS
So, how do these numbers from 2015 compare to distributor business performance in years past? Here is a quick recap of facts and figures.
The average newly constructed store in 2015 has 2.8 top loaders, 28.5 front loaders, 31.7 dryer pockets, and covers, on average, 2,639 square feet.
How does this measure up to previous survey results. Following are new-store profiles from the previous five surveys:
- 2014: 4.6 top loaders, 27.5 front loaders, 32.4 dryer pockets, and 2,696 square feet
- 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
Distributors were also asked if their company brokers vended laundries. Twenty-five percent of respondents to this year’s survey say they do, compared to 41% in 2015 and approximately 31% in 2014.
The share of distributors operating a route laundry decreased, with 36.2% of respondents in this year’s survey saying their do. That compares to 52.5% in the 2015 survey, 41% in 2014 and 29% in 2013.
The share of distributors hosting an equipment show annually was also down, with 57.5% saying they have such plans. The figure was 76.9% in last year’s survey (check the American Coin-Op calendar throughout the year for notices of upcoming events).
How do distributors feel about 2016 overall sales? Are they positive or negative? For 68.8% of respondents, 2016 sales are expected to be better than those of 2015, while 20.8% believe they will be about the same. Just 10.4% believe that 2016 business will be worse than 2015 totals.