CHICAGO – Every region posted sales increases in October compared to October 2011, with the South leading the charge with a 5.6% boost, according to the latest AmericanCoinOp.com StatShot survey.
When comparing year-to-year business, this October’s self-service laundry sales were up 2.7% in the Midwest, 1.6% in the West and 1.5% in the Northeast, results from the unscientific survey show.
Despite the improvements, there is still plenty of pessimism out there, based on a sampling of comments from respondents:
“Costs are similar. A new laundry just opened, our first competition in 18½ years. We’ve drawn customers from a 15- to 45-mile radius for years. Not enough business to support the new $450K laundry, even with 100% of the business.” — Midwest
“Too many coin-ops in our area. Uneducated people driving down price to 75 cents for a wash!” — West
“All costs of doing business are going up, as you well know. Trying to hold prices. Will see how long that will work with another four years of the same officials.” — Northeast
“Have had several laundries close recently. High utility costs are crazy!” — South
Operators were also asked to compare current dryer prices to October 2011 prices. In cases where operators have multiple prices, they were asked to list the lowest price.
The Midwest is the only region that has seen dryer prices go up since last year, based on the survey results. The average dryer price there in October 2012 was 26.9 cents for 6.9 minutes, compared to 25.8 cents for 6.8 minutes in October 2011. Current drying times range from 5 to 10 minutes.
Dryer prices in the West have dipped since last year. October 2012 prices averaged 25.5 cents for 7.2 minutes compared to 28.0 cents for 7.7 minutes in October 2011. Current drying times range from 3 to 12 minutes.
In the Northeast, the average dryer price—26.6 cents—did not change from October 2011 to October 2012. But the average drying time for that price did fall slightly, from 8.1 minutes in 2011 to 7.7 minutes this year.
Prices in the South—25 cents for an average of 6.6 minutes in October 2012—were unchanged from October 2011. Current drying times range from 5 to 8 minutes.
AmericanCoinOp.com’s StatShot includes information on sales, wages, costs and 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. All self-service laundry operators are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.