CHICAGO — Drycleaners across the country continue to report a decline in sales for December, but many indicate that business conditions were not as bad at the end of the year as they were compared to 2009 as a whole, according to a recent AmericanDrycleaner.com StatShot survey.
Drycleaners in the Northeast report a 1.2% decline in sales for December 2009 compared to December 2008, which is a marked improvement from the 3.7% drop they report for the fourth quarter of 2009 and 6.1% drop for 2009 as a whole compared to the same time periods in 2008.
The West and Midwest report similar improvements, with the West reporting a 4.3% drop for December, a 5.4% drop for the fourth quarter, and a 6.8% drop for the year, and the Midwest reporting a 4.8% drop for December, a 7.5% drop for the fourth quarter, and a 8.0% drop for the year.
“2008 was a better year overall, but 2009 was much better in the fourth quarter for me,” says one drycleaner in the West. “I market my business like crazy, and it shows year after year.”
The South was the only region polled to report worsening conditions at the end of the year, with sales down 7.4% in December compared to the year before, and drops of 7.2% and 6.7% for the fourth quarter and the year as a whole, respectively.
“Business dropped starting in July 2009 and has been 20% to 30% off July through November,” says one drycleaner in the South. “I only can pray that things are turning around.”
AmericanDrycleaner.com’s StatShot includes information on sales, wages, costs and other financial data based on anonymous survey information provided by industry operators. Subscribers to American Drycleaner’s Wire e-mails are invited to participate in these unscientific surveys, which are conducted online via a partner website, on a regular basis. Readers are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.
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