Baird Survey Cites Upbeat Growth Prospects

Posted March 18, 2022 at 1:32 pm

Robert W. Baird & Co. and TRSA recently distributed the results of the March 2022 (First-Quarter 2022) Uniform & Linen Rental Survey. Survey respondents on both the uniform and linen rental side of the industry expressed optimism at their growth prospects over the next 12 months.

Key uniform rental survey findings include:

  • Rental Revenue Trends: 34% of respondents beat their own revenue expectations for the quarter with just 13% falling short. The 22% spread narrowed; however, with most respondents seeing trends in-line (53%).
  • Add/Stops: Employment-driven expansion at existing accounts (i.e., Add/Stop Diffusion Index) held in positive territory at 66.2, a bit weaker than fourth-quarter 2021’s surge (80), but suggesting quarter-over-quarter improvement since (index measures relative change, not absolute).
  • No-Programmers: New business interest is holding stable, and is still positive. The no-programmer diffusion index moderated to 51.5 (from 52.5) but is still in expansionary territory.
  • Growth Outlook: Industry consensus continues to see roughly 4.8% organic growth over the next 12 months, unchanged from last quarter’s average. Comparisons versus COVID are now more normalized, suggesting good underlying improvement.

On the linen rental side, survey findings include:

  • Rental Revenue Trends: 63% of respondents cited rental revenue trends above expectations with 31% in-line. Just 6% reported falling short of expectations.
  • No-Programmers: No-programmer interest remained solidly positive at 56.3 but moderated from last quarter’s reading. The index has been in expansionary territory since dipping negative in 2020.
  • Growth Outlook: Forecasted 12-month revenue outlook improved to +6.3%, a new record as the highest rate of forecasted growth in our survey’s history (since December 2015 for this sector).

If you have questions or would like to participate in the survey, contact Andrew Wittmann, CFA, managing director, senior research analyst, Baird Institutional Equities & Research, at; or Justin Hauke, vice president, senior research associate, Baird Institutional Equities & Research, at To view the full details of the survey, click here.