CHICAGO — While the share of distributors reporting their business had improved year-to-year was down slightly, the results of American Coin-Op’s annual Distributors Survey illustrates that business remains quite strong. The majority polled once again enjoyed better business than the previous year, and is expecting overall 2017 sales to surpass those of 2016.
Slightly less than two-thirds of distributors polled (63.6%) say that business—including sales of newly constructed vended laundries and replacement business—was better in 2016 compared to 2015. When it comes to sales projections, a slightly larger share (64.4%) believes 2017 sales will be better than 2016’s.
Just 13.6% of respondents say 2016 business was worse than 2015’s, while 22.7% 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 2016 business and makes comparisons to previous years. In this three-part summary report, percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
NEW-STORE PROFILES OVER THE YEARS
So, how do the numbers from 2016 compare to distributor business performance in years past? Here is a quick recap of facts and figures.
The average newly constructed store in 2016 has 3.2 top loaders, 33.3 front loaders, 39.1 dryer pockets, and covers, on average, 3,132 square feet.
How does this measure up to previous survey results. Following are new-store profiles from the previous five surveys:
- 2015: 2.8 top loaders, 28.5 front loaders, 31.7 dryer pockets, and 2,639 square feet.
- 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
Distributors were also asked if their company brokers vended laundries. Roughly 34% of respondents to this year’s survey say they do, compared to 25% in 2016, 41% in 2015 and approximately 31% in 2014.
The share of distributors operating a route laundry increased ever so slightly, with 38.6% of respondents in this year’s survey saying they do. That compares to 36.2% in the 2016 survey, 52.5% in 2015 and 38.1% in 2014.
The share of distributors hosting an equipment show annually was also less, with 47.7% saying they have such plans. That figure was 57.5% in last year’s survey, and 76.9% the year before that (check the American Coin-Op Calendar throughout the year for notices of upcoming events).
How do distributors feel about 2017 overall sales? Are they positive or negative? For 64.4% of respondents, 2017 sales are expected to be better than those of 2016, while 28.9% believe they will be about the same. Just 6.8% believe that 2017 business will be worse than 2016 totals.
Miss the earlier parts? You can read them here: