LOS ANGELES — Every year, across many neighborhoods in the country, a new Laundromat opens its doors, ready to answer the laundry needs of those in the community.
But before the first washer is loaded, much work, preparation and planning has to be taken care of to ensure the success of the coin laundry.
Some will spend a month or two applying a fresh coat of paint and investing in a few equipment upgrades before they open their doors, while others will spend months upon months gutting and completely rehabbing a space to make it their own.
Some operators start completely from scratch, scouting the ideal location and building their dream coin laundry from the ground up.
Here, you will read about the process several store owners took to draft and establish their ideal coin laundry—from concept and design, to the renovation and construction work, and to the long-awaited day when they could finally open the doors.
Though each took a different path, all tell tales of how hard work led them to design their own success.
24 HOUR LAUNDROMAT
The opening of Pablo Im’s new coin laundry, named 24 Hour Laundromat, in October was a memorable experience for the coin laundry operator, as it helped him become a multi-store owner, officially opening his second vended laundry store in the Los Angeles area.
Im reached out to California-based distributor and developer of Speed Queen Laundromats, PWS – The Laundry Company, and Speed Queen Financial Services (SQFS), for the project.
The design and build-out of the new, 5,300 square-foot facility took six months, according to Speed Queen. Im chose not to disclose the overall cost of the project.
In scouting for a location for the new store, PWS identified a “viable location” in an L.A. shopping center, according to Speed Queen, which PWS Co-President Brad Steinberg says are ideal venues for coin laundries because shopping center landlords and tenants enjoy the consistent traffic and cross-marketing opportunities that come with having a Laundromat in their complex.
With Im’s input, additional washer capacity was added to the original layout, and the store’s overall look was designed using PWS’ “Construction Design Menu.”
The service gives Laundromat operators the ability to customize details of their store by selecting a variety of materials and colors for items, including folding tables, bulk heads, flooring, seating, wall coverings signage and paint, according to Speed Queen.
The Laundromat, which sits on the border of Hollywood and Los Angeles, features all Speed Queen brand equipment, including eight top-loaders, 11 20-pound-capacity washer-extractors, 10 30-pound-capacity washer-extractors, 20 40-pound-capacity washer-extractors, 10 60-pound-capacity washer-extractors, four 80-pound-capacity washer-extractors, 17 30-pound-capacity stacked tumbler dryers, and 14 45-pound-capacity stacked tumbler dryers.
A feature in the majority of the machines is the Speed Queen Quantum control system, which the company says gives Im the opportunity to operate the store through wireless networking, allowing him to program, monitor and audit the machines’ usage and cash flow.
In addition to meeting the laundry needs of customers, the Laundromat also provides free Wi-Fi, a folding space for wash-and-fold drop-off work, and a counter spanning 18 feet for laptop usage, according to Speed Queen.
In regards to his objectives for his business, Im worked with SQFS to develop short-term and long-term business goals, and a customized program to help him reach them, the company adds.
“The end result of these partnerships is one of the most beautiful and customer-friendly Laundromats in southern California,” says Steinberg.
“With these relationships and support surrounding his investments, Im is confident his second Laundromat won’t be his last,” Speed Queen says.
Check back throughout the month for more Designing Success: Portraits of Memorable Coin-Ops!
Store owners, do you have a unique story to tell about your laundry? Equipment manufacturers, distributors or suppliers—did you play a part in the creation of a new store, or in giving an existing store new life? Send me an e-mail at ccalma@ATMags.com with all the details!