CHICAGO — Self-service laundry owners across the country report a decline in sales for December, and many indicate that business conditions were worse at the end of the year than they were compared to 2009 as a whole, according to a recent AmericanCoinOp.com StatShot survey.Laundry owners in the Northeast report a 7.0% decline in sales for December 2009 compared to December 2008, which is a bigger decrease than the 2.6% drop they report for the fourth quarter of 2009 and 2.5% drop for 2009 as a whole compared to the same time periods in 2008. The Midwest and South report similar patterns, with the Midwest reporting a 7.5% drop for December, a 3.8% drop for the fourth quarter, and a 2.8% drop for the year, and the South reporting a 9.8% drop for December, a 9.5% drop for the fourth quarter, and a 9.0% drop for the year.“Walk-in wash, dry and fold drop-off customer base is going down, down, down,” explains one laundry owner in the Northeast. “Business is bad.”The West is the only region polled to break this trend, with sales only down 1.5% in December compared to the year before, and a sales increase of 0.8% for the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to the previous year. The West was down 2.4% for the year as a whole, laundry owners report.AmericanCoinOp.com’s StatShot includes information on sales, wages, costs and other financial data based on anonymous survey information provided by industry owners and operators. Subscribers to American Coin-Op’s Wire e-mails are invited to participate in these unscientific surveys, which are conducted online via a partner website, on a regular basis. Readers are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.Click here and follow the menu instructions to sign up for the free e-mail service.