CHICAGO — Self-service laundry sales rose in the West, Midwest and Northeast in December, while Southern operators saw sales drop for a second straight month, according to the most recent AmericanCoinOp.com unscientific StatShot survey.
The Northeast saw the biggest month-over-month sales increase (compared to December 2010) of 8.4%. The Midwest and West each posted 4.4% increases. The South was down 6.5%, after having been down 0.7% the previous month.
One Western operator raised prices 10%, with turns per day unchanged. Wash-dry-fold sales were up 26%. “I have only laundries in county of 30,000. I think WDF (is) up because of subcontractors here for restart of copper mines.”
“Construction in the area has brought in out-of-state workers with drop-off laundry” amid an improving economy, a Midwestern operator reports.
Respondents were also asked about their 2011 fourth-quarter sales (compared to 2010 fourth-quarter sales).
Fourth-quarter sales rose 7.4% in the Northeast, 4.5% in the West, and 3.7% in the Midwest. Southern operators experienced a 7.1% decrease in the final quarter of 2011.
“(We) used coupons more this year, and less snow meant less days closed to weather,” says one Midwestern operator who also reported increased theft of laundry carts, presumably for metal scrap value.
“My sales were up, I believe, because first we expanded and added another 15 washers and 20 dryers, and we got a better mechanic to fix our machines so we have way less ‘out of orders’ than before,” reports a Western operator.
A Southern operator reported having a record quarter for wash-dry-fold business, up more than 30% from the previous best quarter.
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.