CHICAGO — Three of four regions posted better year-over-year drycleaning sales in November, led by the West, where sales were up 5.7% on average from November 2013, according to results of this month’s American Drycleaner StatShot survey.
In the Northeast, year-over-year sales were up 4.4%. Dry cleaners in the South saw an average sales increase of 2.9%. Only in the Midwest did year-over-year sales fall in November, down 2.0% from the previous year.
“Stores were a little down (but) routes (were) way up!” writes a respondent from the West.
“(We are) working hard on customer service and quality,” writes another.
Maintaining such a focus has been a challenge for a cleaner from the South. “(It) has been difficult keeping employees diligent in this effort. In fact, 50-60% of total management effort is dedicated to this.”
“I find your sales surveys interesting and helpful,” writes a respondent from the Midwest. “The Kansas City market is doing far worse than the numbers you post for the Midwest. Maybe Minneapolis is doing well.”
In terms of marketing spending, dry cleaners in the Northeast posted the largest increase among all regions, up 3.0% over last year. Also spending more on marketing on average were cleaners in the Midwest, up 2.2%.
“We have really upped the spending on marketing,” writes a cleaner from the Midwest. “We have added a radio show to market the wedding gown cleaning and preservation business. Along with social media, we have high expectations for seeing tremendous sales growth in the next 12 months.”
Respondents from the South and the West reported spending less on marketing, on average. Spending was down 5.2% in the South and 0.2% in the West.
The StatShot surveys the drycleaning trade audience every month on a variety of financial issues. While the survey presents a snapshot of market performance, it should not be considered scientific.
American Drycleaner audience members are invited via e-mail to participate anonymously in the unscientific surveys, which are conducted online via a partner website. All dry cleaners are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry performance and trends.