CHICAGO — Sales are beginning to warm up after a frosty winter, as March and first-quarter year-over-year sales were up for coin laundry store owners and operators in every region, according to results in this month’s American Coin-Op StatShot survey.
Store owners in the Northeast led in March year-over-year sales, up 3.2%, while operators in the South also saw sales increase, up 2.1%.
Operators in the Midwest and West saw slight sales growth, up 1.5% and 1%, respectively.
“Better weather [equals] more customers,” says an operator from the Northeast.
“Had a good January,” says an operator from the South. “Can’t really say why, but I liked it.”
Other operators from the region may agree, as first-quarter (January through March) sales in the South were up 3.6% over first-quarter 2013 sales.
Operators in the Northeast posted a 1.8% increase in first-quarter year-over-year sales, while operators in the West and Midwest saw only upticks of 1% and 0.2%, respectively.
“Not seeing much change,” says one operator from the West. “[I am] attempting promotions and improving the look and impression of my front window.”
Another operator from the region says market conditions are “better,” as he/she is preparing to implement summer hours.
“Costs are rising, making it harder to offer competitive prices,” says an operator from the Midwest, while others acknowledged the weather’s impact on sales.
“[Market conditions] are better,” says an operator there. “Brutal winter took a toll.”
“Weather had a giant impact on my traffic,” adds another.
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.