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Unkind Mother Nature boosts Paul Davis


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Cleaning franchises cleaned up in 2014, literally and figuratively. This category encompasses a number of differing segments, including commercial, residential and disaster clean-up, as well as targeted services, such as carpet and air-duct cleaning.

Only three of the 16 companies that made our Top 200, Jani-King, Jan-Pro and Steamatic, showed flat or negative sales growth from 2013 to 2014, and the percentage was small, -0.05, -0.3 and -0.1, respectively.

ServiceMaster Clean, the category leader by a significant dollar amount, increased systemwide sales by 3 percent and added 27 new units. Although its sales are at the top, Coverall Health-Based Cleaning and Jan-Pro have more units. The largest commercial janitorial franchise by units, Jani-King, has 4,500 more units than ServiceMaster, even though it was down 114 units from 2013.

An unkind and active Mother Nature has boosted restoration concepts’ sales. Paul Davis Restoration reported a 30.7 percent increase in 2014 sales, from $499 million to $652 million. Rainbow International Restoration had more than an 11 percent increase.

Molly Maid topped the list for residential cleaning concepts, growing by 10 units and increasing sales by 5 percent. And America may soon be known as the land of the clean carpets: Stanley Steemer Carpet Cleaning was up 5.6 percent in sales over the previous year, although it lost four units during the same time period. Chem-Dry Carpet Cleaning was up 9.5 percent in sales and 6.8 percent in units, based on our estimates.

Janitorial concepts are still digging out from the Great Recession, when revenue fell 5.3 percent in 2008 and another 6 percent the following year, according to the Small Business Development Center Network.

The government program is predicting that due to an increase in residential and commercial construction—coupled with a rising number of households earning more than $100,000 a year—cleaning services will be increasingly in demand in the next couple of years.

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