CHICAGO — While Midwest operators saw a slight drop in March sales and quarterly sales, those in the rest of the country saw their sales stabilize, according to a recent AmericanCoinOp.com StatShotsurvey.
In the Northeast, March sales (compared to 2009 sales) were an “equally” mixed bag. The same percentages of respondents (33%) saw their sales rise, decline, or stay the same. Northeast owners experienced a 1.2% sales bump on average in March.
Thirty-three percent of Northeast owners saw 2010 first- quarter sales (January, February and March) rise, while 41% experienced a sales dip. Twenty-six percent had identical sales for the first quarters of both years.
One Northeast owner said he continues to see customers stuff as many clothes as possible into his machines, while another owner added that success is tied to “not taking any customer for granted.”
Fifty percent of Midwest respondents saw sales rise in March compared to the prior year, while 40% saw sales decline. There was no change for 10% of the respondents. Midwest respondents experienced a 2% drop in March sales on average.
“Bad weather and an attitude that dressing ‘dirty’ is now acceptable, and maybe even fashionable (especially among men), is a problem,” said one frustrated Midwest operator.
As for quarterly Midwest sales, 42% saw business increase, the same number saw business drop, and 16% said there was no change between the two years. Operators there saw a 4% quarterly sales decline on average.
Fifty-eight percent of Western respondents saw March sales rise. Thirty-three percent saw sales drop, and 9% saw sales remain the same. While a greater number of respondents saw a rise in sales, the average sales increase/decrease was 0%. One Western respondent believes California operators are “killing” themselves by not raising prices.
Forty-five percent of Western respondents saw quarterly sales rise, while the same percentage saw sales decline. Sales remained the same for 10% of the operators. Like the average March sales increase/decrease, Western operators experienced a 0% quarterly increase/decrease.
One optimistic Western operator, who saw quarterly sales shoot up 7.5%, said he’s seeing more operators offering wash-and-fold service again.
Southern respondents averaged a 1.4% sales increase in March. The same percentage of respondents (44%) experienced sales increases and decreases, while sales remained the same for 12%. One Southern operator credits new equipment with aiding his bottom line, while another saw a slight sales dip thanks to warmer weather.
Quarterly sales in the South were a mixed bag. Thirty-eight percent saw a rise in quarterly sales, yet 43% saw a decline. Nineteen percent saw no change in quarterly sales from the prior year. The average quarterly sales increase/decrease is 0%.
AmericanCoinOp.com’s StatShotincludes 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 Wiree-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
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