CHICAGO — September was a good month for coin laundry stores in the West, as owners posted the strongest gain in year-over-year sales among all regions, up 10%, according to results from this month’s American Coin-Op StatShot survey.
Store owners in the region also reported a big leap in third-quarter 2013 sales, up 11.1% from third quarter 2012.
“We have a lot of new construction, both commercial and industrial, in our area,” says a store owner in the West.
Another store owner explains he/she is “adding machines to accommodate massive increase in business,” while another says that business was “doing well until the government shutdown.”
“The increase in the City of San Jose’s minimum wage caused us to raise prices in March,” remarks one owner. “The increase in sales is actually just due to the price increase, not an increase in volume.”
The Midwest also fared well in September, with year-over-year sales up 4.5%. Third-quarter 2013 sales were also up 4.5% from third quarter 2012.
“Sales continue to be strong [but] expenses are rising more slowly,” says a store owner there. “Things are looking up for this year and into the spring.”
Another store owner from the region adds, “Utilities going up big time … Most likely will have to raise prices.”
“[Market conditions are] better than they have been [but] still a ways to go,” says another.
While coin-op owners in the South also posted solid gains in September year-over-year sales, up 3.4%, third-quarter 2013 gains were more modest, just 0.5%.
“Things are improving, but still unstable,” says a store owner from the South.
“One new competitor has opened and he is doing pitiful,” says another. “Overall economy is stable, with some growth.”
September year-over-year sales for store owners in the Northeast were unchanged from September 2012. Third-quarter 2013 sales in the region took a slight blow, down 0.2% from last year.
One store owner from the region says that business has been “hurting extremely,” while another is experiencing “constant customer turnover.”
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.