CHICAGO — Dry cleaners in the West were showered with the strongest year-over-year sales gains in April, up 6.7%, according to results from this month’s American Drycleaner StatShot survey.
While some from the region are not seeing much change in market conditions, others say that things are “getting better.”
“In the Southern California market, we are seeing a trickle of recovery,” says a cleaner there.
“Closure of other dry cleaners has helped our business,” adds another.
Midwest (4.2%), South (3.1%) and Northeast (2.9%) operators also saw their monthly drycleaning sales increase from April 2013.
Cleaners were also polled about current payroll for their operation, with those in the West reporting an increase of 3.6% over this time last year. Respondents from the South (2.3%), Northeast (2.1%) and Midwest (1.4%) also reported increases.
Though many dry cleaners in the Northeast say market conditions are not changing, one says, “May … has been tremendous. We are looking at a 15% increase, unless the bottom falls out in the last week.”
In their area, Midwest operators say market conditions remain “stagnant.”
“Conditions seem to be staying about the same. Employment has not changed [and] there are no new competitors in the market,” says an operator there.
“Increases in food and gas prices are putting pressure on the consumer to cut elsewhere, such as dry cleaning,” adds another.
While some operators in the South are singing the same tune, one says, “The entire East Texas economy has changed to more upbeat. All segments appear to be doing better as evidenced by sales tax revenues.”
The StatShot surveys the drycleaning trade audience each 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 surveys, which are conducted online at AmericanDrycleaner.com. All dry cleaners are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.