CHICAGO — Three of the four regions posted year-to-year sales gains in July, with the West leading the way, according to this month’s American Coin-Op StatShot survey.
The West posted a 5.4% sales increase last month compared to July 2012. Also experiencing better year-to-year sales last month were the South, up 1.3% over July 2012, and the Northeast, up 0.9%.
The Midwest was the lone region to post lower comparative sales, down 0.7% from July 2012.
Store owners were also asked about the energy-efficiency of their coin laundries, specifically their utilities cost as percentage of gross for the month of July.
The average percentage was lowest in the West, at 20.4%. It was 23.1% of gross in the Northeast, 25% of gross in the South. The Midwest reported the highest average utilities cost as percentage of gross last month, 26.4%.
An owner from the Midwest invested in wireless Internet-based thermostats so he/she “can better manage heat and [air-conditioning] to match store traffic,” the respondent says.
“My water bill is a killer,” says an operator from the Northeast.
“We bit the bullet and replaced our boiler with a new, high-efficient hot water heater,” says an operator from the South. “What a difference it made in our gas bill.”
“Keep the doors open on nice days,” says an operator from the West. “Use [compact fluorescent lights] where possible [and] reset your thermostats to warmer in the summer months, and cooler in the winter. But most of all, be sure to keep your customers comfortable, as they are our No. 1 resource.”
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.
Audience members are invited via e-mail to participate in the surveys, which are conducted online via a partner website. Self-service laundry operators are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.