CHICAGO — Drycleaning sales rose 4.4% in the West last month from March 2011 figures and expanded 5% during the first quarter of 2012 when compared to last year, results from the latest AmericanDrycleaner.com StatShot survey show.
“Things are getting better,” says a Western operator. “Average order is up. Adding new customers to the routes is easier.”
“Market conditions are better,” adds a West Hollywood cleaner. “Lot of entertainment work, one industry doing well in recession.”
The South (up 1.3%) and the Midwest (up 1%) posted small gains in March compared to March 2011, but their quarterly numbers rivaled those of the West. First-quarter sales in the Midwest rose 4.3% from 2011; in the South, they were up 3.5%.
Most operators tried to keep the results in perspective.
“While my business has seen a rise of 20% for the first quarter, this was compared to very weak sales in 2011,” says a Midwestern cleaner. “The jump in March was caused by a large restoration project. Otherwise the core business was down 2%.”