How did self-service laundry operators fare in 2008? Are they optimistic or pessimistic about 2009?American Coin-Op’s annual State of the Industry survey, a random, unscientific mail poll of the magazine’s readers (self-service laundry operators), covers laundry business activity and focuses on 2008 business, pricing, price hikes, equipment purchases, and expenses. More data from the survey will appear on this website in the coming weeks.2008 BUSINESS VS. 2007 BUSINESSHow did self-service laundry operators fare last year? Less than half of the respondents saw a business increase compared to 2007. In terms of overall self-service laundry business (gross dollar volume), 46% of respondents report an increase in 2008 compared to 2007.This represents a fairly large drop from the 2008 survey. In last year’s survey, 59.4% of respondents reported a business increase. Two surveys ago, that figure was 60%.If you’re looking for some positive news, the average business increase is 14%. The average business increases in the past two surveys were 12.2% and 8.1%, respectively.Here’s a closer look at the 2008 business increases (these figures only relate to those reporting a business increase last year, not all respondents):
- operators with a business increase of less than 10%: 40.4%;
- operators with a business increase of 10% to 15%: 33.3%; and
- operators with a business increase of more than 15%: 26.3%.
The largest increase in 2008 was reported to be 30%.Fifty-four percent of respondents saw business dip in 2008. In the two prior surveys, the figure was 40%.On average, the 2008 business decrease was 14.3%, slightly higher than the 2007 average decrease (13.2%). Two years ago, the figure was 15.2%.Here’s a closer look at the 2008 business decreases:
- operators experiencing a business reduction of less than 10%: 21.7%;
- operators experiencing a business reduction of 10 to 15%: 58.6%; and
- operators experiencing a business reduction of more than 15%: 19.7%.
Several large reductions influenced the average. For example, 13% of operators had a business reduction of at least 30%. The largest reported decrease is 85%.Both the increase/decrease figures were higher than last year’s numbers. You have to go back to the 2005 survey (2004 numbers) to find comparable results. In the 2005 survey, 47% of respondents reported a business increase.DROP-OFF BUSINESSFifty percent of respondents report an increase in drop-off service (gross dollar volume) in 2008. In last year’s survey, the number was 63%.The average drop-off business increase is 13.5% (13.6% in 2007). The average decrease is 20.6% (17.9% in 2007). The average decrease may be a bit misleading; there was a host of huge decreases (more than 50%) that influenced the average.Twenty-two percent of respondents offer drop-off drycleaning. Only 35% report an increase in gross dollar volume.VENDING SALESForty-six percent of respondents had an increase in vending sales in 2008, down from 2007’s 50%.The average vending gain is 10.7%, down a bit from 2007’s figure (12.3%).The average decrease in vending business is 14.7%, nearly identical to the previous year (14.6%).Click here for Part 2.Click here for Part 3.