CHICAGO — Coin laundry operators across all regions saw sales bloom in May, with operators in the Midwest seeing year-over-year sales increase an average of 4.0%—the highest among all regions—according to results in this month’s American Coin-Op StatShot survey.
Operators in the South and Northeast saw similar year-over-year sales gains last month, up averages of 3.4% and 3.3%, respectively, while operators in the West saw sales bump up an average of 2.0% from May 2014.
Whether they pay rent or own their own building, operators in the Northeast report paying the highest cost per square foot, an average of $12.94, according to survey results. One operator from the region reported paying as much as $15 per square foot.
Two-thirds of Northeast operators say their real estate costs are unchanged from a year ago, while the remainder says it’s higher. No respondents from the region reported having real estate costs lower than they were last year.
Operators in the West reported paying similar real estate costs, paying an average of $12.69 per square foot, with one operator from the region paying as much as $16.95 per square foot.
Roughly 67% of operators from the West say their real estate costs are lower than they were last year, while equal shares of 16.7% say their real estate costs are either higher or unchanged from last year.
Operators from the South are paying an average of $10.77 per square foot for their laundry facility’s real estate space, with one operator in the region paying as much as $11.59 per square foot.
Compared to 2014 real estate costs, an even 50% of respondents say their costs this year are higher, while the remaining 50% say costs are unchanged. No respondents from the region reported having real estate costs lower than they were last year.
Midwest operators are paying the lowest real estate costs per square foot, an average of $9.80, based on the survey results. One operator from the region reported paying as much as $14 per square foot for their space.
The majority (60%) say real estate costs are unchanged compared to last year, while the remaining 40% say costs are higher. No respondents from the region reported having real estate costs lower than they were a year ago.
“Business is steady and growing,” says a Midwest operator.
One operator from the Northeast says market conditions in his/her area are “better than fair or average, but [there is] room to improve.”
“Utilities, wages and rent [are] going up,” says an operator from the West.
“We own a campground and hotel. The campground attracts campers from 48 states annually, and 13 to 17 foreign countries,” says one operator from the South. “Current market is [in a] ‘continual recession’ as we have seen a decline in travel.”
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. All self-service laundry owners/operators are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.