CHICAGO — Coin laundry owners in the West posted the largest gain among all regions in year-over-year sales in August, up 10.7%, according to results from this month’s American Coin-Op StatShot survey.
Midwest coin laundry owners also saw a jump in sales last month, up 4.8% over August 2012.
August didn’t treat operators in the South and Northeast as well, with both regions posting declines in year-over-year sales, down 5.6% and 3.5%, respectively.
Store owners in the West also saw the strongest increase in first-half 2013 profits, up 13.7% over first-half 2012. Those in the Midwest also posted gains in first-half 2013 profits, up 5.8% over first-half 2012.
“Our drop-off business is up substantially,” says an owner from the West.
While some operators from the Midwest echoed a similar tune, many still face economic challenges.
“As I have said before, the increasing cost of utilities is the biggest factor affecting my business,” says a Midwest operator.
“With [the] unemployment rate at 30% minimum, the local community is depressed,” says another.
Coin laundry owners in the South and Northeast report facing similar challenges, as both regions posted declines in first-half 2013 profits, down 3.9% and 2.8%, respectively, over first-half 2012.
“All construction has stopped again,” says an operator from the South. “No construction workers dropping off laundry.”
Another operator from the region attributes the slowed economy to the sequester, with an operator from the Northeast feeling the same way.
“Business is down, as some of our customers continue to lose federal assistance due to sequestration.”
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.