CHICAGO — Self-service laundry sales were a mixed bag in November, with two regions reporting increases and the other two lamenting drops, according to the most recent AmericanCoinOp.com unscientific StatShot survey.
November sales in the Northeast were up 5.3%. Fifty-three percent of the operators experienced an increase in sales, most of them double-digit increases.
Sales rose 1.4% in the West, where about half of the operators had increases.
In the South, sales fell 0.7%. Operators reported having been impacted by increasing utility costs, a recently passed immigration law, layoffs among NASA clientele, and bans on the local fishing trade.
The Midwest saw the country’s biggest sales decline, 2.2%, for November. “Still very flat here in Michigan. People put more in each load and come in less often,” says one operator.
“The market is pretty bad,” adds another. “Most self serves are starting to move into the commercial sector to stay afloat.”
Respondents were also asked about November 2011 front-loader prices — their lowest prices, highest prices, and whether the prices had changed since the previous November. The lowest and highest prices varied quite a bit.
In the West, customers can get a front-load wash for as little as $1.50. The lowest-priced front-load washes range from $1.50 to $3.75. Nearly 88% of these prices were unchanged from November 2010. The remaining 12.5% of respondents have raised their lowest-price wash in the last year.
The price range for the most expensive front-load washes in the Western region is $2.75 to $7.89. Every respondent reported these prices were unchanged from a year earlier.
Low-end front-load prices in the South range from $1.75 to $4.25. Approximately 62% of respondents have kept the same low price since November 2010, and 31.6% have raised the price. Just 5.3% have lowered the price.
Southern customers face the widest price range of all regions — $2 to $17.50. Nearly 58% of operators reported having raised their high-end price since November 2010, and the remainder were unchanged.
In the Northeast, the most inexpensive front-load prices are $1.50 to $5.50. Just 6.7% of operators have raised their prices in the last year, while the remainder has kept the prices unchanged.
When it comes to the most expensive wash, Northeastern customers are paying $2.25 to $8. Approximately 21% have raised this price compared to November 2010, while the remainder has stood pat.
The most inexpensive front-load prices in the Midwest range from $1 to $4.50. Just 5.9% of operators have raised their prices in the last year, while another 5.9% have lowered them. The remainder has kept prices unchanged.
When it comes to the high side of front-load prices, Midwestern customers face a range of $2.50 to $8.79. Some 12% of respondents have increased prices, with the remainder keeping the status quo.
AmericanCoinOp.com’s StatShot includes information on sales, wages, costs or other financial data based on anonymous survey information provided by industry owners and operators.
Audience members are invited to participate in these unscientific surveys, which are conducted online via a partner website, on a regular basis. Self-service laundry operators are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.
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