CHICAGO — Coin laundry store owners and operators in the South kicked the new year off with healthy year-over-year sales last month, up an average of 8.0% over January 2014, according to results of this month’s American Coin-Op StatShot survey.
Operators in the West also reported healthy January year-over-year sales gains, up an average of 5.0%, while operators in the Midwest reported only an uptick of 0.4%.
Store owners in the Northeast were the only ones to see a slight dip in January year-over-year sales, down 0.3%.
“Snow [and] frigid weather is killing us,” one Northeast operator reports.
Another operator from the region is seeing different results caused by the weather. “Current market conditions with the cold weather is definitely keeping my place humming.”
Calendar year 2014 sales for operators across all regions were “humming,” as all reported increases over calendar year 2013.
Operators in the South led the pack, posting a 6.5% average increase over calendar year 2013, while Northeast operators saw overall 2014 sales increase by an average of 2.5%.
“Business has increased significantly, especially since the price of gas has dropped below $3 per gallon,” says one operator from the South.
“Landscapers and construction labor are back from holiday and boosting laundry volumes in our market,” adds another.
Operators in the West and Midwest saw similar results, with 2014 overall sales increasing by averages of 1.8% and 1.6%, respectively.
One operator from the Midwest says market conditions in his/her area are “weak at best.”
“24-hour laundry has pushed us to add hours,” says another.
“Slow recovery and economy [is] actually helping our business,” says an operator from the West.
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.