The Scott-Macon Janitorial Industry Review estimates that there were 829,522 cleaning and janitorial service businesses in the U.S. in 2016. The four biggest companies account for less than 10% of the market, in stark contrast to food services, retail, or nearly any other mature sector where a handful of giants typically commandeer the bulk of the revenue. Independent BSCs comprise approximately 30% of the market, while there are also more than 44,000 franchises and counting.
Typically, commercial cleaning covers residential, commercial/office, specialist, and laundry services, with competition brutal across all sectors. Competition is sufficiently fierce that a single poor performance can be enough to lose an entire contract. The average cleaning services business experiences more than 50% customer churn each year because of poor service.
This customer churn can cause problems for janitorial and sanitation distributors who supply products to these commercial cleaning businesses. Supply orders may vary week to week and prohibit regular supplier revenue. There are traditional and future economic challenges that contribute to the turbulent nature of this industry. Every challenge that impacts the BSCs’ business in turn impacts the revenue of wholesale distributors.