CHICAGO — The majority of coin laundry store owners polled (43.5%) say that overall business was “somewhat better in 2013” compared to 2012, according to results from this month’s American Coin-Op Your Views survey.
While 15.9% say their business performed “much better in 2013,” equal shares of 18.8% say that business this year was the “same as 2012,” or was “somewhat worse” compared to last year. Only a small percentage reported business being “much worse in 2013” (2.9%).
In terms of their expectations, 47.1% of store owners say their business performance this year was “about what [they] expected,” while 31.4% say it was “better than [they] expected.” An even 20.0% say it was “worse than [they] expected,” while 1.4% say they “don’t know.”
Roughly 65% of store owners say that a “customer base increase” was one of the reasons why their business improved this year, while 37.5% attributed the improvement to “[installing] new equipment.” More than 35% “raised prices” this year to improve business, while 16.7% “improved marketing efforts.” Some attributed the improvement to “competition [decreasing]” (14.6%), while equal shares of 12.5% say their “costs/expenses decreased,” and that they also “offered new extra services.” (Respondents were asked to select as many as applied from eight options.)
A little more than 10% gave other reasons as to why business improved, with one store owner saying he/she remodeled his/her stores, while another decided to create a website to increase business.
For those whose coin laundry business worsened this year, equal shares of 46.4% attribute the dip in business to “customers [cutting] down on number of visits” or “costs/expenses [increasing].” Roughly 30% say that their “customer base decreased,” while 21.4% say that “competition cut into business,” and 14.3% say that their “extra-service income dropped.” (Again, respondents could select any from a list of six factors.)
Some store owners stated other reasons (7.1%) as to why business worsened this year, such as issues with employee retention.
Regarding their memories of this past year, one store owner says, “My son has taken over; the new blood with modern ideas really work.”
“We made progress in our [remodeling] efforts and signed long-term leases at good future rent rates at key locations,” says another. “[We] also expanded in new and existing locations.”
“[We have] new competition,” adds another store owner. “Time to readjust [our] marketing plan.”
While some are glad that the year is almost over, another store owner is thankful they are “able to survive in a world that has small businesses failing on a daily basis.”
While American Coin-Op’s Your Views survey presents a snapshot of the audience’s viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific. Subscribers to American Coin-Op e-mails are invited to participate anonymously in an industry survey each month.
The entire American Coin-Op audience is encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define owner/operator opinions and industry trends.