Close

StatShot: Some Operators Raise Front Loader Prices to Compensate for Lower Sales

StatShot-ACO-2009-11.jpg

related image
Related Image

Jason Hicks |

CHICAGO — Self-service laundry owners and operators report falling sales again, with owners in the West reporting the biggest drop for the month, according to American Coin-Op’s most recent StatShot survey. Some owners seem to be raising front-load washer prices to help mitigate the losses.Operators in the West reported an 8.4% decrease in sales for October 2009 compared to the October 2008. Laundry owners in the South reported an average 6.3% decrease in sales, and both the Midwest and Northeast reported a 3.0% decrease.We asked survey respondents what the lowest available wash price for a front-load washer was in their store in October 2009. The West reported the lowest prices, with an average low price of $2. Comparing this price to the same month last year, 8.7% of respondents said it’s higher, 8.7% said it’s lower, and 82.6% said it’s unchanged.The South reported an average lowest price of $2.20 in October 2009. Comparing this to the same month last year, 27.6% of respondents said it’s higher, 3.4% said it’s lower, and 69% said it’s unchanged.The Midwest reported an average lowest price of $2.35 in October 2009. Comparing this to the same month last year, 25.8% of respondents said it’s higher, no one said it’s lower, and 74.2% said it’s unchanged.The Northeast reported an average lowest price of $2.48 in October 2009. Comparing this to the same month last year, 7.1% of respondents said it’s higher, 3.6% said it’s lower, and 89.3% said it’s unchanged.We also asked survey respondents what the highest wash price for a front-load washer was in their store in October 2009. The South reported the highest prices, with an average high price of $5.61. Comparing this price to the same month last year, 27.6% of respondents said it’s higher, no one said it’s lower, and 72.4% said it’s unchanged.The Midwest reported an average highest price of $5.50 in October 2009. Comparing this to the same month last year, 21.9% of respondents said it’s higher, no one said it’s lower, and 74.2% said it’s unchanged.The West reported an average highest price of $5.40 in October 2009. Comparing this to the same month last year, 8.3% of respondents said it’s higher, 4.2% said it’s lower, and 87.5% said it’s unchanged.The Northeast reported an average highest price of $5.17 in October 2009. Comparing this to the same month last year, 17.9% of respondents said it’s higher, no one said it’s lower, and 82.1% said it’s unchanged.It should be noted that some operators could be reporting higher prices because they upgraded to larger equipment in the last year.Some operators are still reluctant to increase prices. “Our expenses have increased, but we can’t raise our prices, because we would lose customers to our competitors. Frustrating!” said a Midwest operator.“I planned to raise my prices on top loads in December, but with current conditions, I believe it would not be well received,” commented one operator. “I lowered the time on my dryers in June 2009 and got some nasty comments from customers about being greedy and raising my prices while families are struggling.”One operator in the West even went as far as lambasting the competition. “I have a competitor who has lowered his double-load washers to a buck,” he said. “Yes, I’m sensing some of my customers are moving to him in this recession; however, he is killing the business of coin laundries.”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.

About the author

Jason Hicks

American Drycleaner

Jason Hicks was assistant editor for American Trade Magazines, which publishes American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News, for more than nine years, and web editor for three years.

Advertisement

Digital Edition

Latest Classifieds

Industry Chatter