Vending sale declines can be linked to structural changes in the work place. For example, more white collar employers allow their employees to work from home one or two days each week, a practice called "telecommuting" or "teleworking."
In fact, the Federal Government has taken the lead in encouraging this trend. Congress passed and the President signed the “Telework Enhancement Act of 2010” which aims to expand the practice. (See, the Guide to Telework in the Federal Government, April, 2011).
Some experts estimate that 50 million people, 40 percent of the work force, can and will take advantage of teleworking to “improve the quality of their work-life.”
Telework means smaller locations
What does this mean for vending and micro markets operators? If each person works from home one day a week, your sales can decline by 20 percent at the location. A location, which is supposed to have 250 people, might only have 200 on any given day It's driving down location sales and no one in the industry is really talking about it. It's not measured in the state of the industry report or considered by vending and micro market operators.
Since the government is encouraging the practice of teleworking, there's no question it will continue to affect the work place. Operators will be forced to consider the true number of consumers on site. I'd recommend even today, operators talk to the locations they service about their practice of teleworking to find out truly how many people are at the location. The numbers could be astounding.