CHICAGO — Sales were heating up for coin laundry stores in the West as operators there posted the strongest year-over-year sales gains among the regions last month, up 4.4%, according to results from this month’s American Coin-Op StatShot survey.
Also posting year-over-year sales growth in July were operators in the Northeast (3.6%, on average), Midwest (2.3%) and South (1.9%).
Tempering its sales increase, the West reported paying the most for utilities last month, with the average cost as a percentage of gross being 30.9%.
The average utilities cost in the Midwest was 25.3% of gross; in the Northeast, it was 25.0%. The South reported the lowest utilities cost as a percentage of gross: 16.2%.
To run a more efficient coin laundry, one operator from the South explains that he/she changed the light bulbs at his/her store to T5 bulbs, adding, “Ensure proper makeup air so air-conditioned air is not ducted into dryers.”
“I have changed the lighting from fluorescent to LED and have seen a sizable drop in energy consumption,” says an operator from the Northeast who lights his/her store about 16 hours daily year-round. “The traditional bulbs lasted about a year and these have a life expectancy [of] over 15 years. … The color of the LED is different than the traditional so I recommend mixing 25% warm white and 75% cool white bulbs to produce a pleasant effect.”
“Keep your vend prices up—that is the largest factor for utility percentage,” advises a Midwest operator.
“We are a 24-hour Laundromat so we have sensors installed to turn lights to 100% only when customers are in the store,” says a store owner from the West. “We have [also] installed a film on our south- and west-facing windows to cut down heat.”
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 via AmericanCoinOp.com. All self-service laundry owners/operators are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.