CHICAGO — What a difference a year makes.
Heavy winter storms affected every region of the nation in February 2011, plunging dry cleaning sales to bone-chilling depths. But thanks to an unseasonably warm, dry winter in most parts of the country this February, sales rebounded in a big way, according to results of this month’s AmericanDrycleaner.com StatShot survey.
Every region posted healthy gains in February compared to February 2011, with the Northeast’s 8.7% increase leading the way. Next was the Midwest with a 7.8% gain, followed by the South at 6.6% and the West at 4.3%.
Nationally, 76.2% of respondents posted year-to-year sales increases.
“The mild winter produced better-than-expected sales in 2012,” says an operator in the Northeast. “Last winter was so harsh on the East Coast, we lost almost 10 days of work between blizzards and power outages, that this winter season was a breeze. Although there was much less heavy-coat and winter-garment cleaning, we did pick up volume just because we were able to stay open and people were able to get to work.”