CHICAGO — Coin laundry owners in the Northeast ended 2014 on a strong note, posting the largest average increase—7.1%—in year-over-year sales in December among all regions, according to results of this month’s American Coin-Op StatShot survey.
December 2014 sales in the South were up an average of 5.9% compared to December 2013. Store owners in the Midwest and West also posted gains, up 3.2% and 1.8% on average, respectively.
Many respondents in the Midwest report that market conditions in the area are stagnant, however, with one operator commenting that sales are softer compared to this time last year, when pipeline work was being performed in his/her area.
A respondent from the West explained that his/her store became “very busy” during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s.
“December 2014 was very strong because we had some heavy rain,” says another operator from the West. “However, we haven’t had any more rain and are starting into our third winter drought. We expect major fee hikes on water by spring.”
A store owner from the Northeast is seeing similar market conditions, saying, “After 18 months of increasing sales, [we are] beginning to see stagnation.”
Despite this, operators in the region collectively reported a sales gain in the fourth quarter, up 3.6% on average over fourth-quarter 2013.
Midwest operators also posted similar gains in fourth-quarter year-over-year sales, up an average of 4.1%, with operators in the South reporting the largest increase in fourth-quarter sales, up 6.1% on average.
The West was the only region to post lower fourth-quarter sales, falling an average of 0.5% from fourth-quarter 2013.
“Lots of new construction of shopping centers close to me,” says an operator from the South. “The highway in front of me is completely destroyed and will be so for months.”
The unscientific StatShot survey includes information on sales, wages, costs or other financial data based on survey information provided anonymously by vended laundry store owners.
American Coin-Op audience members are invited via e-mail to participate in the surveys, which are conducted online via AmericanCoinOp.com. All self-service laundry owners/operators are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.