Out of a possible five on the operator confidence index, the micro market segment continued to slide down to 4.13 for the second quarter of 2019 from the previous three quarters of 4.33, 4.63 and 5.00, respectively.
Micro markets remain popular
However, more than half of the operators who commented on their experience with micro markets in the second quarter had positive or hopeful remarks, citing ample demand from customers in terms of both sales and accounts. (The vast majority of the remaining comments were neutral, though one operator stated that they were developing ways to address shrinkage issues.)
“We find that more and more office managers are wanting a micro market in their break room space,” a Colorado-based micro market operator said.
A full-line operator in Tennessee said, “[Micro markets] can be a pain, but they will the main driving force of revenue in the vending industry quite soon.”
Operations process, economy projected to be tied to growth
As seen in the first quarter of 2019, finding new locations continued to be the number one projected growth driver for the following quarter for the micro market segment. However, in the second quarter, converting vending accounts was no longer anywhere close to being deemed the top driver of the next few months, unlike the previous quarter. Instead, the second-highest projected growth driver was a better operational process.
“With additional attention, proper planogram usage & dedicated, trained market personnel - revenue will increase,” a full-line operator in Indiana said.
A majority of operators stated they had a “good” sales outlook for their micro market operation, while three said their sales outlook was “excellent” and only one operator determined that their sales outlook was “fair.” The reported sales outlook for entire operations was just slightly more positive, with 12 operators stating it was “good” and three stating it was “excellent.”
A full-line vending operator from Alabama and a full-line vending operator from New York who both rated their sales outlook as “good” for both the micro market operation in particular and the overall operation expressed that they were “cautiously optimistic” about growth for their business.
“As long as the economy continues to hold on and be strong, I don't see any downturn of growth in micro markets,” a Washington State-based operator said.