CHICAGO — While the beginning of fall may not have been a sales bonanza for operators, September sales (compared to September 2009) showed some stability in the four regions, according to the most recent AmericanCoinOp.com unscientific StatShot survey. Most noteworthy is the fact that fewer large losses were reported than during the summer months.In the South, September sales rose 1.1%. Equal numbers of operators reported sales increases and decreases.One Southern operator “had one of my best summers ever,” yet experienced a sales drop as soon as school started. Others saw a slight increase in September business, yet believed sales would be higher.Northeastern operators saw sales dip 1.2%. About two-thirds of respondents experienced a decrease in business. Several large increases kept the sales-decrease average modest.A “September surge” and a reported boost in temporary construction jobs (meaning more temporary workers and clothes to wash) helped buoy Northeastern sales.Midwest sales were also down 1.2%. More respondents experienced a bump in sales in September, but slightly higher sales decreases kept the monthly tally down a bit.Western sales rebounded a bit (up 1.8%) from a sluggish August (down 3.25%). As in the South, equal numbers of operators reported sales increases and decreases.Several Western operators have experienced a rise in sales, yet are trying to deal with rising water and sewer costs.Operators were also asked about third-quarter sales. In the South, quarterly sales were neutral (+0). Northeastern operators saw quarterly sales fall 3.3%, while Midwestern operators saw a small increase (0.5%). Buoyed by a strong September, Western operators saw sales rise 2%.AmericanCoinOp.com’s StatShot includes information on sales, wages, costs or other financial data based on anonymous survey information provided by industry owners and operators.Audience members are invited to participate in these unscientific surveys, which are conducted online via a partner website, on a regular basis. Self-service laundry operators 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.