CHICAGO — Coin laundry operators in the South had a sweet February, as the region posted the strongest increase in year-over-year sales last month, up 9%, according to results from this month’s American Coin-Op StatShot survey.
“Fantastic” is how one operator from the region described market conditions, while another says the market in his/her area is “awesome.”
While operators in the West and Northeast also posted healthy sales gains, up 5.3% and 5% respectively, operators in the Midwest saw their year-over-year sales dip by 2.7%.
“This was the slowest January and February in the past 12 years,” says a Midwest operator. “March traffic is very high so far.”
2013 drop-off sales in the Midwest, however, were up 2.8% compared to the prior year. Roughly 71% of operators from the region say they “have offered drop-off service for two years or more,” while the remainder (28.6%) say they “haven’t offered drop-off service in the past two years.”
Drop-off sales amongst operators in the South were up 2.5% in 2013, compared to 2012 sales. Equal shares of respondents (40%) say they’ve offered the service for two years or more, or have “offered drop-off service last year, but … not this year.” The remaining 20% say they haven’t offered drop-off service in the past two years.
Operators in the West also reported an increase in annual drop-off sales, up 3%, while operators in the Northeast posted the strongest gain, up 4.5% compared to 2012 drop-off sales.
An even 60% of operators in the West say they’ve offered drop-off services for two years or more, while the remainder say they haven’t offered the service in the past two years.
Every Northeast store owner who took the survey has offered drop-off services in their store for two or more years.
“Our growth is in drop-off [as] it is 60% of our business,” says a Northeast operator, with another adding that market conditions in his/her area is “robust.”
“[The market is] stable, but in jeopardy with looming minimum-wage increases,” adds another.
A store owner in the West says market conditions are “slow” in the area, with another saying there are “many other Laundromats in the area, too much price competition. Almost impossible to raise prices.”
The unscientific StatShot survey includes information on sales, wages, costs or other financial data based on anonymous survey information provided by industry owners and operators.
American Coin-Op audience members are invited via e-mail to participate in the surveys, which are conducted online via a partner website. All self-service laundry owners and operators are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.